BIBLE READING: GALATIANS 1
1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)
2 And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:
3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,
There was a great conflict in Paul’s day about genuine men that were called by God, and perverse prophets that were trying to profit from their preaching. Paul gave some things that differentiated him from the others. It is still the same things that differentiate the truly called men of God from those that are not.
NOTICE THE SOURCE OF HIS CALLING
First, we see that Paul was not called by men, or by any specific man. There was no organization that decided that Paul should be a preacher. Second, Paul was called by Jesus Christ. Third, Paul was called by God the Father. Now there is some debate by theologians about the last phrase in verse one. Some say that this is saying that God raised Paul from the dead. They believe that Paul died that day on the road to Damascus and God raised him up. Then, there are those who believe that that phrase is referring to God raising Jesus from the grave. I do know one thing, that God can do either, or, and all the above.
Why is it important that the source of Paul’s called to the ministry was God and not man? Because men change, but God doesn’t. Because men do not have the power to call, but God does. If one man lets you down, any man could let you down. God has never let anyone down. God has the power to perform the calling he has placed. The calling of God, the Bible says, is “without repentance”. He is called the apostle Paul. That word apostle means “ambassador, or messenger sent out“.
NOTICE THE STRENGTH OF HIS CALLING
If God has power to raise Jesus from the dead, and if God has the power to raise Paul if necessary, from the dead, God has power to raise us. Paul’s strength did not come from himself, it came from Jesus Christ. Remember, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”.
NOTICE THE SUBSTANCE OF HIS CALLING
GRACE: verse four says that Christ “gave himself for our sins”. Grace was the substance of Paul’s calling.
PEACE: the same verse says “that he may deliver us from this present evil world “.
There is no peace without Christ. As Paul was called by Jesus Christ, it was full of grace and peace. Dear friend you have been called of God today. Utilize God’s grace and God’s peace. It is what sets us apart.