20 August 2012

Galatians 1:1-17

"Paul an apostle—sent neither by human commission nor from human authorities, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead." (v. 1)


Paul starts his letter to the Galatians with an amazing statement "sent not by human commission nor from human authorities, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father". There is great similarity in the attitude of Paul to his ministry, and that of the psalmist. "I am yours; save me" (Psalm 119:94).

It's striking how both the text from Psalm 119 and the start of Galatians 1 speak of giving up and surrendering to a power far greater than any human source. It seems appropriate that both of these writers have had such a huge impact on the Christian faith; one through writing psalms that have inspired, challenged and transformed so many people, and one through the incredible ministry that followed his conversion in Acts 9.

Galatians 1 talks a bit about Paul's story - of being transformed to be able to recognise the love and grace that God had for him (verses 11-16). Once the God's transformation in him had taken place, Paul goes on to describe some of his ministry; travelling to Arabia and then to Jerusalem, amongst other places (verse 17).

Clearly, Pauls conversion turned his life upside down; the kind of transformation that can happen to all of us. That's what God does; God transforms us! Each and every day, in tiny little ways, in huge ways, in ways we're completely ignorant of, in ways that we're completely overwhelmed by.

To ponder

  • For a minute, consider your own story, and the transformation God has worked in you.
  • How has God transformed you?
  • What would life have been like if God hadn't intervened? Give thanks to God for the light you have been brought into.

Bible notes author

Sam Taylor

Sam Taylor is the 2011/2012 Youth President for the Methodist Church. Sam lives in Wellingborough in Northamptonshire and has been a One Programme Participant (OPP) in a youth project linked to the church, Infuse Youth Cafe.