Paul’s Call-Galatians 1:13-17

Galatians 1:13-17 “For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus.”

Galati 1:13-17 “Infatti voi avete udito quale sia stata la mia condotta nel passato, quand’ero nel giudaismo; come perseguitavo a oltranza la chiesa di Dio, e la devastavo; 14 e mi distinguevo nel giudaismo più di molti coetanei tra i miei connazionali, perché ero estremamente zelante nelle tradizioni dei miei padri. 15 Ma Dio che mi aveva prescelto fin dal seno di mia madre e mi ha chiamato mediante la sua grazia, si compiacque 16  di rivelare in me il Figlio suo perché io lo annunciassi fra gli stranieri. Allora io non mi consigliai con nessun uomo, 17 né salii a Gerusalemme da quelli che erano stati apostoli prima di me, ma me ne andai subito in Arabia; quindi ritornai a Damasco.”

In this portion, Paul describes the process of coming to find the grace of God in Jesus Christ. His history in Judaism is well-documented and the Judaizers (those who taught that following the law first was a requisite to following Christ) who may have accused Paul of not knowing the Law were in error. Paul was at the top of his class and a zealot to promote the Law of Judaism. He spent much of his early life studying and following the famous rabbis of his day as well as persecuting the early church. God used all of this knowledge and zeal when Paul had his revelation of Jesus on the Damascus Road (Acts 9).

At the conversion of Paul, there were no New Testament books written and the oral testimonies of Christian believers were meaningless to Saul (Paul). It took a vision and the spoken word of Jesus to change Paul. In these verses, Paul mentions five things about his calling. First, God set him apart at birth. Second, it was by God’s grace that Jesus was revealed to him. Third, God gave him a purpose as a Jewish believer to be the apostle to the Gentiles. Fourth, God’s call had nothing to do with any man. It was not done by the influence and consultation of man but was directed from God. There were others who doubted his conversion and call but Paul never did. Jesus directly saves him from being a persecutor to being a preacher. Fifth, he went to Arabia and then back to Damascus where God trained him for years for the calling set before him.

God still uses these same things to teach us His call and purpose for our life. He knew us before we knew Him. He reveals His truth to our hearts in our experience with Him and gives us purpose in our service to Him. The Lord reminds us that our relationship with Him is personal; He teaches us His Word in order for us to be equipped for the work He has for us.

Pray with me. Lord, as I read of the testimonies of Paul and others who have come to Your saving grace, help me to appreciate all that You have planned and fulfill Your purpose in me.


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