GALATIANS‬ ‭1:11-23‬‬‬

“Dear brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that the gospel message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning. I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ. You know what I was like when I followed the Jewish religion—how I violently persecuted God’s church. I did my best to destroy it. I was far ahead of my fellow Jews in my zeal for the traditions of my ancestors. But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him to reveal his Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles. When this happened, I did not rush out to consult with any human being. Nor did I go up to Jerusalem to consult with those who were apostles before I was. Instead, I went away into Arabia, and later I returned to the city of Damascus. Then three years later I went to Jerusalem to get to know Peter, and I stayed with him for fifteen days. The only other apostle I met at that time was James, the Lord’s brother. I declare before God that what I am writing to you is not a lie. After that visit I went north into the provinces of Syria and Cilicia. And still the churches in Christ that are in Judea didn’t know me personally. All they knew was that people were saying, “The one who used to persecute us is now preaching the very faith he tried to destroy!””

Galatians‬ ‭1:11-23‬ ‭NLT‬‬

In this passage, Paul begins to execute a blueprint for biblical apologetics. For many believers, justification and apologizing the faith would mean arguing its tenants. From a pharisaical background, Paul would have been at ease doing so. Instead he goes in a completely opposite direction. Instead, he takes a moment to be honest and vulnerable about the fact of God in his life. He begins to tell about his hope by speaking about corroborated facts and shedding light on how they relate to his journey with God. As an Apostle, this was unnecessary, but Paul’s intent wasn’t to philosophically best an opponent. His intent was to win over a brother and to open Galatia’s ears to his admonishment. Too many Christian leaders and authorities address challenges to that authority with aggression and philosophical bantering rather than humble admonition. Paul’s example shows us how simply telling the truth about God in our history can be a better tactic than trying to bust open dissenting doors with our prowess and theological rhetoric.

Published by Josh McGary

MY NAME IS JOSH MCGARY. First, I am a Pastor of a small church in Portland, Oregon named Aletheia Bible Fellowship. We call it ABF. I have been a pastor there for the better part of 20 years. I am very eclectic. What I love, I love loudly and immersively. I have notable collections of toys, funko pops, and vinyl. I also infamously love pop culture, comic books, technology, the arts, psychology and philosophy.

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