Galatians 1:11-24 – FIRST STEPS
When our children were small we rejoiced in the development of their abilities. We were happy when they could eat cereal, then baby food and then table food. We rejoiced when they smiled, then laughed, and then started saying those first words. We watched as they rolled over, then crawled, then pulled them up to stand next to the couch. But probably the greatest day of all was when they took those “first steps” all by themselves.
First steps are almost always exciting. When a person takes those first steps walking, or riding a bicycle, or learning to read, or learning a new a job, we are happy in the progress which is made. When a person is saved, or born-again, there are also first steps that need to take place. If a person is truly born again these steps will take place, and most of these steps will be repeated all through the Christian Life. It’s just like walking!
In the Book of Galatians Paul is writing to a group of churches that he founded in what is modern day Turkey. Paul was writing because of the false teachers, called Judaizers, who had followed Paul into the area. They taught that to be saved a person had to keep Old Testament Law as well as believe in Christ. They also discredited Paul, claiming that he was not truly an Apostle of Christ.
In this passage Paul gives a defense of his Apostleship. He tells about the first steps that he made in his walk as a believer. We should have imitated these first steps, and should continue to imitate them.
CHRIST REVEALED AND RECEIVED – Vss. 11-12
The Gospel that Paul preached did not come from other teachers. It came from God.
He received it by revelation from God beginning on the road to Damascus. See Acts 9:1-22
The Gospel that Paul preached and the Gospel that we believe came from God, not man. See John 3:16 and 1 Peter 1:18-21
An important thing to note is that Paul had to receive Christ in order to be saved.
God, through the work of the Holy Spirit and the preaching of the Word of God will reveal the message of salvation, but each individual must receive Christ in order to be saved. John 3:36, Ephesians 2:8-9.
THE PAST RENOUNCED – Vss. 13-14
A change took place when Paul was saved. He let the past behind. He left the Jew’s religion in favor of Christianity. He stopped persecuting Christians, profiting in the Jew’s religion, and being zealous for the traditions of his fathers. See Philippians 3:1-9.
According to 2 Corinthians 5:17, a change takes place if we are truly saved. We will want to leave the past behind, and things which never bothered us before like foul language, lying, or immorality, will start to bother us.
THE MIND REPROGRAMMED OR RENEWED – Vss. 13-17
Paul was isolated from man and placed in God’s Bible School. He had his mind renewed. His thinking was changed. Paul would have had the Old Testament Scriptures as his text.
Today we need our mind renewed by God’s Word. Romans 12:1-2, 1 Peter 2:1-3, 2 Timothy 2:15, Joshua 1:8
BELIEVERS REJOICED – Vss. 18-24
Finally Paul did go to Jerusalem.
Churches had heard that the one who once persecuted Christians now preached the Gospel.
The change in us should be so dramatic that it will cause other Christians to rejoice.