Summary: Pentecost 3(C) - When God calls, who can refuse? Not Saul, nor Paul.
WHO CAN REFUSE GOD’S CALL?
June 25, 2006 - PENTECOST 3 - Galatians 1:11-24
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Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:
Today we continue with our study of Galatians with Paul’s concern for the faith of the faithful in Christ. The main message of today’s text is: God’s will is done. No man can refuse nor resist the plans that God has for that person. Today we learn from the example of Paul that even enemies of God can be and are changed into God’s army. Consider what the Psalm writer declares: "My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" (PSALM 139:15,16). Even hidden in the womb, even before birth all the days ordained for man is known by God. Man may plan many things but it is ultimately God who directs the footsteps of everyone. Knowing this --
WHO CAN REFUSE GOD’S CALL?
I. Not Saul,
II. Nor Paul
I. NOT SAUL
A. Remember Paul was not always Paul. Paul had been born with the name Saul.
1. Paul and Saul were real-life opposites in respect to faith, God and life itself.
2. Verse 13 reminds the believers how Saul persecuted God’s church and even tried to destroy it.
B. This bad reputation of Saul was very well known among the believers. Verses 21-23a.
1. It was very hard for the present Paul to distance himself from his past as Saul.
2. Paul explains the intensity of Saul in verse 14. Tradition was important to Saul.
C. The reality was that Saul was blind to God’s grace because of his zeal for church traditions.
1. Saul was so zealous for man’s tradition that he rejected the message of the Messiah.
2. In the midst of resistance he could not refuse God’s call in verses 15,16.
D. Saul was blinded by his own self-interests. We can be quite the same in our own day-to-day living. Our society trains or brainwashes us to feel that we are the most important person on God’s green earth. We like to promote ourselves: either our families or work. All glory to us! This is worldly thinking and not God’s. "For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened"(ROMANS 1:21).
E. The things of this world can attract our attention. The things of this world can distract our attention. Satan uses every kind of tool at his disposal to make us like Saul rather than Paul "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God"(2 CORINTHIANS 4:4).
F. In the end who can refuse God’s call? Saul could not. Every believer, like Saul, is saved purely by God’s choice, his divine grace that wants all men to come to repentance. "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved"(EPHESIANS 2:4,5). Believers believe by God’s grace. Unbelievers do not believe by their own choice – rejection. Praise God for his irresistible grace and love and mercy!