Summary: Sermon 3 in the Galatians series. stresses the power of sharing your testimony, telling your story.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ in Paul (Gal 1: 11-24)
Before and After – A Transformation
My Grandfather used to tell me stories – all kinds of stories
Stories about the old days, about what it was like to grow up around Creighton, Missouri in the earlier 1900’s (20’s, 30’s)
Stories about working on the farm, how things were different
Curing meat outdoors in a smoke house
He gave me a 22 rifle one time that had a place carved out and smoothed out.
It was his best friend’s rifle, he earned it by selling newspapers.
His best friend while he was growing up had a bad eye, and he had to sight the rifle with his left eye though he was right handed.
His friend died in an accident and his friend’s dad gave him the gun, then he gave it to me.
I loved that gun – it meant more to me than any other gun I had
It was stolen along with other guns when I was getting ready to move back from Omaha.
I had other guns like a double barrel ruger red label 20 gauge by father gave me
And a S&W 357 revolver, but if I could get just one gun back from that robbery – it would be that little 22cal rifle.
Its valuable to me because of the story behind it.
I loved the stories my Grandpa used to tell me
You know what made those stories great – because those stories were from personal experience. They were little pieces of his life. Those stories made a connection between my Grandpa and me. Its how I got to know who he was before I met him.
In our passage today Paul is still defending his authority as an apostle
He is still defending the true gospel
And woven into his argument is his story. His personal testimony.
Last week for the SS Opening, Bro Richard talked about telling your story, giving your testimony and how it is a good idea to include in your story something of the person you used to be, the person you were before Christ entered your life, before Christ entered your heart and made you into a new creation – transformed you from the inside out into His disciple.
That’s what Paul is doing in our passage today. Paul has an incredible testimony, and many of the people he is writing to had probably heard his story before, and here Paul is reminding them of his story
And he is calling up that connection that he made with them when he shared his testimony.
The best stories are the ones from our personal experience. When you tell stories from your own experience, you have a connection to the story, and people can feel that connection and they can relate to it. – connects them to YOU
Paul’s personal testimony, his story, adds to his credibility, and reminds them of his integrity. It helps to renew in their mind the person they saw him to be on his earlier visit.
Gal 1: 11-24 (NIV) 11 I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus. 18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles--only James, the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie. 21 Later I went to Syria and Cilicia. 22 I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only heard the report: "The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy." 24 And they praised God because of me.