Galatians 1:10-24

The Power of a Testimony


The first nine verses of Galatians have shown us who Paul was writing to, as well as his purpose for writing.

A)The churches in the region of Galatia were being falsely taught by the Judaizers that SALVATION involved more than belief in Christ.


B)That they had to follow religious rules, obey religious regulations, and perform religious rituals in order to be accepted by God.

1) The Galatians were becoming convinced that in order to be saved, a person had to live in Judaism.

C) Paul pronounced judgment upon anyone who preached a gospel to them other than the message of grace. Let them be Accursed – Damned !!!!


Now some might question: What gives Paul the right to speak with such authority about these false teachers & their message?

A)What makes Paul so special and the message that He was preaching so right???  -


B) Well Paul begins to answer those questions in the verses we are looking at today :

1)   He tells us of his Motive / Origin of message / Background/ his conversion  & his training   Rd v. 10-24


One of the things that we often fail to take into Consideration when reading the NT is that what the Apostles were Preaching was Dangerous

A)They were putting their very lives at stake – by Proclaiming that Christ was the Messiah


B)They were radically going against the grain – They were not winning Popularity contest


C)The Message of a the Gospel of Jesus Christ was an insult to the Jews whose own Scriptures were clear – Cursed is anyone who hangs …tree

D)The Jews argued How can Jesus be our Messiah when according to the OT –He has been cursed by God

1)Fail to understand – God’s Plan of Salvation- that Christ had to become cursed to pay the price for our sins {2 Cor 5:21}


21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.


A sin less Jesus became sin filled so that sin filled people could be sin free


E) So the message of Salvation thru JC dying on the cross & raising from the dead was insulting and Confusing to the Jews – Made them upset

1) They didn’t want to hear it and they were bent on Silencing those who were Preaching it – Dangerous Message



So it was an INSULT  to the Jews but it was also a THREAT to the Romans  who controlled the region at that time

A)The Romans didn’t like the fact that the Christians were Declaring Jesus to be their King!!!!


B) Result Paul and the rest of the Apostles would encounter great persecution / beatings & torture

1) And along with thousands of other Christians they would eventually lose their Lives for this Message


C) That is something that we often forget in our Christian friendly Country –

1)   For them to preach this message – was not Safe – To Preach Judaism now that was safe – But not this


D) SO Paul first of all wants them to understand his Motive in Preaching this Message :

10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.


So Paul declares  here that  his Motive in Preaching this messageI am not doing this to please men / but to Please God !!!

A)There have always been preachers who have sought popular acclaim above all else, and there are some who still do.


B) But that is a sure fire recipe for compromise & disaster – You see I can’t be a true Bondservant of Christ if I am trying to please men


C) But that was one of the Problems that Jesus addressed concerning the Pharisees – which is what Paul was before his conversion

1)   Jesus said of the Pharisee in Luke 11: 43


43     "Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.


D) The Pharisees took pride in their position instead of being servants for the People – they wanted to be esteemed by the People

1) They put REPUTATION ABOVE CHARACTER – they loved the Praise of Men


E) They Loved the seats of position in the synagogue & loved to be called titles like Rabbi / Master or Father

1)   They were very  concerned about their Reputation – Been said that 

           REPUTATION is what people think we are CHARACTER  is    

                what God knows we are.


F) Paul was no longer  interested in how he was seen in the eyes of men, He was only interested in how He was seen in God’s eyes { Motive: Please God



Next in v. 11,12 – Paul tells us the origin of this Message that was given to Him RD

But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

A)Paul declares the GOSPEL  is not human either in ORIGIN or in authority. I did not invent it or alter it, nor did any other man

1). Its message is completely divine in origin, I received it from Jesus Himself – When did that happen? We will see in a minute !!!


B) Consider this: Had Paul proclaimed a gospel that was according to man, it would have been permeated by works based righteousness.

1)   That is what the Jewish religious leaders did to the Law of God.


C) They took the 10 commandments and the practically living laws passed down from Moses & dissected them


God gave them the Torah which was the first 5 books of Moses

A)They in turn created the Mishnah which was the oral traditions that explained the Torah /  handed down over a period of 335 yrs


B)Then came the TALMUD – Which were writings that explained the MISHNAH which explained the TORAH.

1) AN English edition of this work comprises 36 volumes & 36,000 pages


C) In Paul’s background he was a master of all of that – Everybody knew him as the  brilliant student of Rabbi Gamaliel

1)   And that Paul was well on his way to becoming an influential leader of the Jewish faith.


D) Had Paul invented a Message it would not have been the gospel.


Think about the gospel message: – No human would invent it

A)Crazy – God comes to earth as a Baby – Lives as a man / Wins hearts with his love / stirs souls w/ his teaching / Marvels minds w/ his miracles


B)Gets betrayed by one of his followers – Is brutally beaten / Crucified / Dies / Buries – 3 days later rises again – Ascends into heaven

1)   Now wants to live in the hearts of those who believe !!!!


C) All men have to do is to Believe – Embrace His work – His blood cleanses their sins

1)   Men don’t like that message – Give me some rules to follow / give me something to do !!!


D) That is why the message of the Bible is so different from every other message of religion in world History

1)   The emphasis is on what God did – Placing my faith in that – Not what I need to do to perform


So the reason why Paul’s gospel was the yard stick by which other gospels were to be measured is clear

A)His gospel wasn’t according to man – it was of no human invention

Paul could says: “I preached it Paul could say but I didn’t invent it..Rev JC


B)Now the best way for Paul to prove his point is to illustrate the gospels affect on his own life – So he reminds the Galatians of his Background


C) IN this historical flashback Paul reminds them of his relationship to the Church:

V.13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it.


D)And he reminds them of his relationship to the Jewish religion:

14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.



Turn to Acts 7 quick look at Paul’s background & Conversion:

A)We are first introduced to Paul – {Saul of Tarsus} at the stoning of Stephen: the First Martyr in the Church


B) In Ch. 7 Stephen preaches this amazing message – going thru the OT scriptures concerning the Messiah – ends by saying you crucified him

1) Well the religious leaders were not thrilled to hear this V. 54

Acts 7:54-60

When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56 and said, "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!"


57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; 58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. /    59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice,"Lord, do not charge them with this sin." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.


C) That is the first glimpse we get of Paul before his conversion – that he was present at the Stoning of Stephen

1)   But as we move into Ch.8 – We gain a little more insight


Now Saul was consenting to his death.

A)The word consenting means to ALLOW & to be in full agreement with


B) That means – Saul could have been one of the instigators in this Mob that Stoned Stephen to death – Leaders giving the Ok – Stone him


C)That is further supported by what we read next about Saul – Acts 8:


At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.


3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.

At this point Paul goes on a Rampage – He is going to single handedly destroy this new religious group – these followers of Jesus

A)He is filled with great religious Zeal – and he would later say in

1 Tim 1:13- what he was doing he did ignorantly in unbelief.


B) But Such was the state of Saul of Tarsus before his conversion – he was a bigot and a Fanatic,

1)   Who gave himself whole heartedly to Judaism and to his persecution of the Christian Church


C) But then something happened to Saul Ch.9  – RD v.1-19



Gal 1:15-1615 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, 16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles,

A)God had a plan for Paul – he just needed to open his eyes first he just needed to get him saved  - Now I love what Paul does here


B)Before Paul was a Christian, the emphasis was on what he had done: I persecuted . . . I advanced . . . (I was) more exceedingly zealous. 

1)Once Paul follows Jesus Christ, the emphasis was on what God had done: God, who separated me . . . called me . . . reveal His Son in me.


C) Paul says I was bent on persecuting & destroying the Church- But it was God who set me apart before I was born /

1)   it was God who called me thru his grace it was God who was pleased to reveal his son to me –


D)I was going in one direction thinking I was working for God – but in reality I had left God out of my calculations

1)and yet He in His grace arrested me & Changed me headlong in my course

   DO you know what it means to be arrested by God’s Grace !!!

Paul understood God’s purpose in doing this: Is wasn’t that God needed Paul – But God wanted to v.16 Reveal His Son in Paul !!! His grace/ love

A) If there ever was a picture of God's grace, Paul was it. He of all people didn't deserve salvation.


B) Sure, God had forgiven robbers and prostitutes. But this was a man who had been responsible for the death of God's own children!

1)   But God even loved him.


C) Just like God to take his biggest enemy and turn him into – His biggest advocate – Champion for the Gospel.

This passage also tells that God has a sense of Humor – note v. 16 again Paul says God’s plan for me was to preach to the Gentiles

A)He selects a man before he is born for the job of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles.  { Perfect for the JEWS} Dependency


B)And that man grows up hating Gentiles, and believing that the only reason God made Gentiles was so they would fuel the fires of hell.


C) Now he is going to risk – his life to bring them the message of the Gospel how AMAZING IS THAT!!!!!!

1)   Only a Divine work of God would lead someone in that direction


D)God’s Plan for your life is to reveal His Son – in You !!! Light of the world is living in You – Let your light shine

1)   What begins as a Revelation of Jesus Christ to you – gospel – turns into a Revelation of Jesus Christ – in you – His place in your heart


So Paul reminds them of his Conversion as a testimony of how the gospel changed his OWN LIFE

A)And finally he shares with them about his Unique and special training

v.16b  I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.   

Upon his conversion, Paul did not immediately confer with flesh and blood to discover the content of the gospel. 

A)He didn’t need to, because the gospel was revealed directly to him by Jesus.


B) Note Paul did not travel to what we would call Saudi Arabia. 

1)The area known in that day as Arabia in his day extended all the way to the city of Damascus. 


C) Paul probably lived in some quiet desert place outside of Damascus.


In religious circles today, it’s cool to have a D.D. — a Doctorate of Divinity. Paul had a D.D. — a Doctorate of the Desert.

A)He was in good company: Moses, John the Baptist, and Jesus all spent time in the desert.


B)So too, maybe for you these are dry, difficult days. It could be that God wants to reveal Jesus Christ to you in a fresh way,

1)but for that to happen, - There is a Change in order – Desert time – time for being still – Me Oregon –


C) Not a time of Isolation – Heb 10 Don’t forsake the Fellowship – But a special time for you and Jesus – Closer : Hear from Him / His heart

1)   Well Paul had a special time with Jesus – tutored by the Lord Himself for 3 yrs –{ Interesting Apostles also spent 3 yrs }


D) And it was only after this time that Paul then went to meet with the apostles in Jerusalem and only Peter & Briefly James the Lord’s brother

RD v.18-24  



What a Picture of God’s Grace – Peter the denier / Paul the persecutor both forgiven / saved / being used –

A)How could anyone think there was no hope for them


I think we could some up Paul’s words in this section in this way: The greatest Proof of the Power & Authenticity of the Gospel message

A)Is the trail of Changed lives found in it’s wake – The Aposlte Paul was definitely one such Changed life


B) Jesus was revealed In Paul – Result – The people Glorified God in Paul !!!!!