Thursday, September 06, 2012

The Vision (9/6/12): And they glorified God in me (Galatians 1:24).

Thus far in our Sunday morning Galatians sermon series we have been expositing the opening chapters in which Paul provides the autobiographical account of how the Lord turned him from a would-be-destroyer of the gospel to a preacher of the gospel.  In Galatians 1:24 Paul notes the response of his fellow believers to his conversion:  “And they glorified God in me.”  Below is part of the Scottish minister John Brown’s 1853 commentary on that verse (with quotes from Barnes and Perkins):

Well they might; and so may—so ought—we.  Divine grace never had a more glorious trophy, Christianity never made, in one individual, so important an acquisition.  “We may still glorify and praise God for the grace manifested in the conversion of Saul of Tarsus.  What does not the world owe to him!  What do we not owe him!  No man did so much in establishing the Christian religion as he did; no one among the apostles was the means of converting and saving so many souls; no one has left so many and so valuable writings for the edification of the church.  To him we owe the invaluable epistles—so full of truth, and eloquence, and promises, and consolations—on one of which we are commenting; and to him the church owes, some of its most elevated and ennobling views of the nature of the Christian doctrine and duty.  After the lapse, therefore of eighteen hundred years, we should not cease to glorify God for the conversion of this wonderful man, and should feel that we have cause of thankfulness that He changed the infuriated persecutor to a holy and devoted apostle.”  “Here we see what is the right way of honouring the saints, and that is to glorify God in them and for them.  As for religious worship of adoration and invocation, it is proper to God, and the saints desire it not” (p. 68).

Indeed, we still marvel over and give glory to God for Paul’s conversion and for the conversion of countless other lesser known former enemies who have become God’s friends through Christ.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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