A lil recap on last week, Paul has gotten word that the churches in Galatia and turning away from the gospel and being lead astray probably by travelling preachers adding works to the gospel (circumcision & keeping the law) and he rebukes them, he then stars to counter accusations that he is people pleasing which leads us today to Galatians 1:11-24 , so turn there in your bible or click here http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=galatians%201:11-24&...
In 11-13 Paul continues to counter the claims that he is people pleasing by not expecting the gentiles to live under the law, he tells the audience that this is not a gospel he invented himself or made up he neither received it from man or was taught it but he received through revelation from Christ himself, on the Damascus road (see Acts 9:1-19)
Then to drive the point home in the next few verses (13-15) he retells the story of his former life in Judaism and how he used to be a persecutor of the church and “tried to destroy it” he makes a point of mentioning how zealous he was for his “ancestral traditions” which is for the rabbinic teaching which was especially important to the Pharisees and he seemingly boasts about how he was “advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries” at first glance this may appears as boasting but it is more likely he is retelling this story with shame and sorrow of his actions towards the church and against god.
He goes on to say how he has been set apart by god, given a unique purpose and part in this story which is to preach him amongst the gentiles. This was revolutionary.
Then in 16-22 he speaks of how he didn’t consult immediately with anyone or go visit the apostles, another attempt to counter that notion he received the gospel in any way that wasn’t revelation, but he went away for 3 years and then visited Jerusalem and only got to know peter and James, he assures the readers of the letter he is not lying and continues to chronicle his travels through Syria & Cilicia.
And in 22-24 we see that while the churches in Judea didn’t know what he looked like (as he hadn’t spent long there) word had spread and they knew of him as the one who was persecuting the church but “is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy” and that because of this he says “they were glorifying god because of me”
Paul would seem like the most unlikely candidate for god to use to preach to anyone, but this another shocking example of how the kingdom of god truly is an upside-down kingdom, the thing that should seemingly disqualify him from becoming part of the kingdom and doing god’s work (persecuting the church!) god uses to bring glory to himself (1 verse 23) So what is the one thing somewhere at the back of your mind, that you are ashamed of? That you secretly think god may hold against you? That you think is a reason why you shouldn’t be welcome in the kingdom? Well... guess what? God can use that and you! Just as there was grace for Paul, there is for you too.
I pray this week; we can believe what is true about us even if it doesn’t feel true sometimes, that we are forgiven, accepted & loved and that in our words and actions we can share that with others.
What are your thoughts?
As always feel free to post prayer requests!
(Hi Nathan, nice to be here again) Its amazing how God can use anyone even people who might not even get to go to heaven.
Also Paul was saying how he wasn't the one who needed to be glorifying and that he was just the messenger and that God should get all the glory. Sometimes I don't why some christian artist say "I chose" Or "I did this" they don't get the fact that God should get all the glory and not man I hear the letter "I" in songs more the Word God or Lord, Jesus and not even the holy spirit gets heard and that today's Christian music is more about fighting for Christians then it is about finding our brothers and sisters in Christ. But I'm getting away from the point
I'm sure everyone here has some sort of deep dark sin that they have and even if they don't they probably soon will which makes it okay only because God can use that in so many ways not even the person that has the sin night not even know that his/her sin can help others in their problems. As we learn from our mistakes we also learn from others.
thank you for your input hannah :)
"as we learn from our mistakes we also learn from others" amen.
sorry I am so late! I definitely agree with your (Nathan's and Hannah's) thoughts about recognizing that God can use anyone, no matter their sin, even those who have tried to persecute the church, to glorify Him and make His love known to more people. You applied this to our ideas about ourselves, and how even with our sins we can be assured of grace for those sins just as Paul was given grace. I would like to add that we should think about this in relation to other people. All of those people who we consider non-believers or heathens or sinners or whatever other label you have, they are able to be redeemed by Christ. I mean, if Paul, who tried to DESTROY the church, was chosen by God to spread His word, can't any other sinner possibly have their life changed? So, for example, if you have a really terrible boss who treats you like dirt...she/he can be redeemed through Christ. And that's amazing to think! Because we are supposed to be loving those people because of the love Christ has already shown them, but most often we fight against them or ignore them.
some general questions if anyone wants to answer: is there someone in your life that you haven't thought of as "redeemed by Christ"? Who do you least expect to become a Christian and how do you treat them?
haha it's ok anna, most people don't show up on time :P that is another really good thought, it's good to remember that. i try to remember that in my own way when someone is insulting me or really attempting to get under my skin by saying to myself in my head, child of god.. child of god.. it helps me remember that they are loved equally by god, it also helps me hold my tongue. i def agree we are supposed to extend love everyone but unfortunantly a lot of non christians get judgement or anger instead of love.
I absolutely love this passage. For me it is reminiscent of Moses, a testament that God uses the least, last and the lost to glorify Him. I can't get over the fact that God loves us specifically and His plans for each persons life are an incredible amount more than anyone can plan no matter our mistakes, what an incredible God! Hannah- I love what you said about learning from our own mistakes and from others :)
thanks for sharing everyone :) we're onto 2:1-10 this sunday, 8pm.
today's bible study (26/08) is cancelled, sorry guys! it'll return to normal next sunday (02/09) :)