Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #52
Posted: July 21, 2005

A Study of Positional Truths

Our study of IN CHRIST truths brings us this week to Paul’s testimony of his salvation found in Galatians 1:11-16.  We desire to expound on the anchor verses 15 and 16 of this text, which say, But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mothers womb, and called me by His grace.  To reveal His son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood.” 

Paul tells us in verse 11 that the gospel he preached is not a ‘man centered’ gospel.  The gospel of the Bible does not have man coming to God but God coming to man.  Paul’s gospel was not decision based but divine centered.  A decision-based salvation is very dangerous.  If a man can simply decide to follow Jesus he could as easily decide to turn away.  Our salvation is much bigger than our decision.  Salvation does not begin with man and go to God but it must begin with God and come to man.  Before you Amen this truth please realize this belief takes salvation totally out of the hands of man and puts it totally from beginning to end in the hands of God. 

In verse 12, Paul tells us how salvation is not ‘received’.  The word ‘received’ means to come near for the purpose of bringing one into a relationship of oneness.  Paul said he didn’t receive it by man.  We know that God uses men to channel the gospel to others.  We are reminded from this text that God is not bound to this being His only channel to save man.  God does not have to have a soul winner but only the Blessed Savior.  Paul tells us he was not ‘taught’ the gospel.  The word ‘taught’ means to learn by teaching.  God has not locked himself into a human instrument to save a sinner.  Paul received the gospel through the ‘revelation’ of Jesus Christ.  The word ‘revelation’ means an inward manifestation or a coming to be enlightened.  Even if you received the gospel through the teachings of a man the actual birth was by the revelation of Jesus Christ.  God stepped into us and said, ‘Let there be light’ and the darkness of death had to flee.

In verses 15 and 16 Paul goes into a deeper clarity of how the gospel comes to the people of God.  He tells us in verse 15 that it came at ‘God’s pleasure’.  The word ‘pleased’ means to appropriate or to approve the existence of.  Paul speaks in verse 15 of the ‘origin in time’ of our salvation.  He tells us that it was at God’s pleasure that He separated me from my ‘mother’s womb’.  Paul’s salvation was determined in the mind of God before he was ever conceived in his mother’s womb.  It was confirmed by a ‘call’.  The word ‘called’ is in the past tense in our English Bible, which indicates a past action that insures a present result.  The word ‘called’ means to bid to come forth.  It is not a general call from man but an effectual call from God. 

The separating, calling pleasure of God was with one purpose in mind.  Paul said in verse 16 that it was all done for the purpose of ‘revealing His Son in me’.  In the creation story God stepped out in the midst of nothing and said ‘Let there be light and there was light’.  Paul tells us in II Corinthians chapter four “…the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God should shine unto them.

I rejoice in the day God stepped into my heart and said ‘Let there be light’.  It was then that Christ took up residence in me through a spiritual birth from above. 

Paul said God’s purpose for this revelation was that he might proclaim this story to the heathen. He immediately tuned his attention not to flesh and blood but to God.  His focus in salvation is not man but God. Jonah summed it up when he said, ‘Salvation is of the Lord’.  From the beginning to the end and everything in between, our salvation is all of God and none of us. To God be all the glory, Great things He hath done IN us!