Called to Change

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Called to Change
Text: Galatians 1:13-16
Occasion: General
Audience: Adults
Theological Tradition: Wesleyan
Topic: Transformation, calling
Author: None Given


Direction

No matter what, God is always urging us to be transformed, and to follow God's call on our lives.

How to Get There

  • Paul was living a horrible life, killing and persecuting. He was zealous and intense about it, more intense than almost anyone, the enemy of Christ.
  • Yet Christ had been calling him since birth to something special. In Saul's case to preach to the gentiles. Saul was the most terrible man of his day, and God still kept calling him, still kept giving Saul grace.
  • Finally, Paul got the message, and was transformed. He then followed the call God had placed on his life since birth and began walking with God. We have also been called from birth for something special, we also have a relationship with God to grow. It might not be to preach to the gentiles, but it is something special.
  • We have a choice to decide to be transformed and follow our call, or to live in rebellion to God like Saul was, even if it doesn't involve killing people.

Things to Watch For

  • Check out what the word translated as “destroying” implies, as well as whether the verse implies it was being accomplished or not. A lot of this is missed in English translations.
  • What does “set me apart” mean in this context?
  • This passage is not chronological and can get confusing. Make sure you know what order all of these events happened in. A timeline can be helpful here.
  • The verb tenses and moods are important in this passage for understanding how Paul was doing in his attempt to destroy the church.
  • Notice in verse 16, that the purpose of revealing his Son was so Paul would fulfill the calling. Check out other implications of this word structure in a good commentary.
  • For more information on everyone having a calling and how to make this be a good thing, not a scary one, read “Calling” by Frank Tillapaugh and Richard Hunt.
  • If you do not read Greek, use a commentary that deals with it without expecting you to understand everything in the original text. I recommend the Sacra Pagina commentary for Galatians.

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