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Scripture to Read
Acts 9, Acts 13:13-14, Galatians 1
Paul, in Galatians 1, introduces himself as an apostle sent by Jesus Christ and God the Father. This is significant because God wanted a relationship with those in Galatia, so He sent Paul. That relationship was born from Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. It was important for the Gentile Christians to understand that Truth, the foundation of their new faith.
He continues his letter with a strong and harsh tone, unlike the other letters he wrote (Ephesians, Philippians …). In Acts 14, we see Paul in Galatia, spreading the Gospel. He travels to Lystra of Galatia where he was stoned and left for dead as a result of his preaching. He gave a lot of himself for the glory of God and couldn’t believe the people of Galatia were so easily swept away by false teachings.
Paul makes it abundantly clear that the gospel of Christ is about the grace of Christ. Believing we can earn our own salvation has more to do with pleasing people than pleasing God. Paul says, in verse 10, that we cannot serve both people and Jesus. This was, in essence, the difficulty facing the Galatians. They were confronted with the challenge of standing firm in their new faith or succumbing to peer pressure from the Judaizers, Christians who followed the law of Moses. There cannot be two ways to heaven.
There’s only one: Jesus.
Paul goes on to explain that if anyone should know about this “other” gospel the Judaizers were spreading, it would be him. For he was well educated in the Torah and extremely zealous for the traditions of his fathers. Paul understood what was happening with the Galatians and needed to make it clear that if God called him from his mother’s womb to preach Jesus to the Gentiles, then there could be no other gospel. He was a Pharisee who persecuted followers of Jesus but with one personal encounter with the Son of God, his life, values, traditions, and beliefs were all changed.
In verse 15, Paul writes that he was called, by the grace of God, to preach the love and hope of Jesus to Gentiles. This was extremely unorthodox for a well know Pharisee who didn’t have much to do with non-Jewish people. But God.
But God called him; therefore God equipped him to go and preach to those who were not ethnically Jewish. Paul makes it a point to say he didn’t consult any human being before responding to the call of God. In Acts 9:15, Jesus said, “Go! Proclaim My name to the Gentiles…” The other apostles were preaching to the Jews. If Paul had gone to them first, without having evidence of God working through him, he may have experienced discouragement or disapproval. Instead, he was obedient and started preaching immediately.
God’s ways are always better than ours. We may not understand the rhyme or reason for God’s calling but, by His grace, He will equip us if we are obedient.
Research & Define
Reflect & Discuss
- How have you been looking to other’s for approval instead of seeking to please God?
- Has God called you to do something out of your comfort zone or asked you to do something completely different than the norm? How did you respond?
- How does this passage renew your desire for God?
- What is the theme of this chapter?
2 Corinthians 3:3-6
Memorize & Meditate
Write out Galatians 1:10.
Meditate on this Truth.
Memorize this Scripture, let it renew your mind and change your heart. Ask God to increase your desire to seek His approval above man’s.
Father God, open my eyes and heart to receive Your truth today. I invite Your Holy Spirit to rest upon me as I read and study your Word this week. Give me Your Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that I may know you better. Enlighten the eyes of my heart in order that I may know the hope to which you have called me. Let this week’s study bring me closer and deeper in my walk with You.
In Jesus’ name amen
For Next Week … Galatians Study_Week Two
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