Daily Devotional Tuesday 13th Octoberby William Moody
Paul Called by God
11 For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel.1 12 For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. 14 And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born,2 and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to3 me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone;4 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother. 20 (In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!) 21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God because of me.
Paul is in a battle here for the true Gospel and what he shows here is that the Gospel he proclaims has come not from human origin but from Christ alone (v11-12). This is why we can have confidence in the Gospel, it is from God, it is God’s truth. This is also the reason why we can’t just take the parts of the Gospel we like and discard the parts we dislike. It is God’s Gospel and we have no right to tinker with it, we must accept all of it, the whole message.
Paul shares his testimony of how he was engaged in Judaism and even persecuted the church (v13-14). Paul shares this because the problem in the Galatian churches was that they were embracing aspects of Judaism which were not part of the Gospel. Paul is showing he is not anti-Judaism but that he has moved on from Judaism because of Christ’s revelation (v15-16).
Paul again emphasises that this message did not depend on the apostles’’ endorsement or the on the endorsement of the Jerusalem church (v17-20).
Paul then shares how he began sharing the Gospel and the response of the people (v21-24). Paul was so excited about the Gospel, it thrilled him, and he did not want it to be distorted. Have you a real excitement and passion for the Gospel? Take time to talk to God about this.
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.