By Brooke Holt
“Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother. (In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!) Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. They only were hearing it said, ‘He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.’ And they glorified God because of me.” (Galatians 1:18-24)
Paul spends an inordinate amount of time defending his apostleship in this letter to the Galatians. He does this not because he has something to prove about himself, but about the legitimacy of the gospel he presented to the churches in Galatia. Paul had not nor would not preach a different gospel message than the other apostles (his time with Peter and James confirmed that). His message was consistent, and it was the only true gospel message. While Peter and James did not rebuke or correct Paul, they and many others marveled at what God had done in Paul. From a zealous persecutor to an even more zealous evangelist, Paul was turning the world upside down for Jesus Christ. Though Paul would have been the last person people chose to become a great evangelist, he was the one God chose.
God does not see as man does, and his thoughts far exceed our greatest thoughts (See Isaiah 55:8-9)! Paul’s life is a testimony to that truth. The miraculous work done in Paul and then through Paul resulted in many people glorifying God for that work. Paul’s life pointed to the power of the gospel while his lips proclaimed what God had done in him and could do for others.
Is this how you share your faith? Do people marvel when they hear what God has done in your life and glorify God because of it? Often, we are ashamed of our lives before Christ and keep on our religious masks. However, sharing our before and after Christ stories demonstrates the Lord’s saving work in our lives as well as the transformative work of the Holy Spirit. Your testimony is powerful and needs to be shared! You never know how sharing your story with others will bring them to glorify God because of his work in you!
Have you considered the power and importance of your testimony? Who can you share that story with today? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our six-week small group Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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