Called Through His Grace to Live by Grace [Galatians 1]


9As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! 10For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.


11For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 13For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it;  14and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.


15But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, was pleased 16to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, 17nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.

 

 18Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days. 19But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord's brother.

 

 

Paul is dismayed when he realizes that the church in Galatia has added laws to the gospel.  "I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ." (vs. 6, 7).  He carefully reminded them of the history of how God called the Gentiles to Himself through grace and not by the law.


It is important to see the time lapse here in the story of Paul.  When we were reading Acts it seemed to me that Paul believed in Christ and then immediately was given a huge ministry assignment and off he went.  In this letter to the Galatians you see that God took his time with Paul and prepared him for that ministry.  He spent time with the Lord and learned from Him, keeping in mind that God had called him from his mother's womb.  He was a bond-servant of Christ and if he started to strive to please men or find favor with them, he would not be acting as a bond-servant of Christ.


Keep our eyes on you Lord, through Your marvelous grace.  You alone are worthy to be praised and served.

 

 

 

 

Verna McCrillis, 5/4/2009