Galatians 1:13-24 From Persecutor to Preacher CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Paul gave the Galatians some of his personal testimony in this passage because they had willingly decided to follow different preachers who had changed the gospel and had put them under a legalistic religion instead of the true liberty in Christ. His authority to preach the true gospel to them was much better than the false preachers they were following because of his zeal as a Jew, his personal call from God, his revelation from Jesus, his truthfulness, his conviction, and his desire to glorify God. None of the guys that had come after him could hold a candle to him. So let’s look at Paul’s testimony:
His reputation among Christians (Gal. 1:13) – He offended the church of God [1 Cor 10:32]. He persecuted the church of God (his body). He wreaked havoc on the church [Acts 8:1-4]. When he persecuted the church he persecuted the Lord [Acts 9:1,13,21].
His religious zeal among the Jews (Gal 1:14) – Phil 3:4-6
His sanctified call from God (Gal 1:15) – From my mom’s womb – not “in” – but God certainly knew he wanted him. Acts 9:6, 15-16, “Called”
His divine revelation from Jesus (Gal 1:16) – Acts 9:20-22. Col 1:24-29
His supernatural preparation alone (Gal 1:17) – I conferred not with flesh and blood. He went to Arabia–Mt.Sinai. Mt. Sinai represents New Jerusalem [Gal 4:24-25]. Jesus, Moses, and Elijah fasted on Mt. Sinai. Ps 69:8. Mk 6:3. He learned at the feet of Jesus.
His short meetings with Peter and James (Gal 1:18-19) – meeting with Peter symbolizes anti-popery. Meeting with James was simply meeting with his brother.
Factual letter to the Galatians (Gal 1:20) – I lie not and it is an oath BY GOD. Eph 2:16. Eph 4:25
His evangelistic trips to Syria, Cilicia, Judea (Gal 1:21) – Acts 9:28 at Jerusalem but not at Judea. Acts 9:30 with Acts 15:23-26. Getting churches started here, not under the law, no way to confer with apostles there (they stayed in Jerusalem).
His complete conversion in Christ (Gal 1:22) – Major change, II Cor 5:17. From Satan to the power of God. Acts 26:18.
His glorious testimony for God (Gal 1:23-24) – II Cor 9:13. Matt 5:16
Conclusion: Have you changed enough that everyone can tell? Does your life bring glory to God? Are you trying to win souls? Can you be truthful with your testimony? Are you preparing in fellowship with God? Do you know what God wants you to do?