April 16, 1989
The apostle Paul took great care to explain to believers that the Gospel he preached was not of man but from Christ. Carefully examining Paul’s conversion, Alistair Begg draws out several factors for consideration as the “persecutor” became the “proclaimer.” The wonder of God’s saving work is that He comes to unlikely people in unlikely contexts to perform unbelievable transformations so that He will receive the glory for changed hearts.
11For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man's gospel.3 12For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 13For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. 14And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. 15But when he who had set me apart before I was born,4 and who called me by his grace, 16was pleased to reveal his Son to5 me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone;6 17nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
18Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. 19But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord's brother. 20(In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!) 21Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24And they glorified God because of me.
Copyright © 2023, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.