Astonished!

From Paul, an apostle.

I wasn’t appointed by a group of people or any human authority, but by Jesus Christ himself and by God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead.

All the brothers and sisters here with me join in sending this letter to you – the churches of Galatia.

Grace and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave his life for our sins, by the will of our God and Father planned, in order to rescue us from this present evil world. All glory be him forever and ever! Amen.

I’m astonished that you are turning away so soon from the one who called you to live in the loving mercy of Christ! Instead, you are turning to a way which pretends to be good news, but is not really good news at all. And you run the risk of being deceived by those who are deliberately twisting the truth concerning Christ.

Let God’s curse fall on anyone –  including us or even an angel from heaven – who preaches a different kind of good news to the one which we originally brought to you. I say it again –  if anyone preaches any other good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be accursed.

Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people here, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I wouldn’t be Christ’s true servant.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that the message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning. My message came from no human source and no one taught it to me, but 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. In fact, I did my best to destroy it and was far ahead of my fellow Jews in zeal for the traditions of the ancestors.

But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvellous 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 didn’t rush to consult with any human being, neither did I go up to Jerusalem to confer with those who had become apostles before me. No, I went away into Arabia. Then later I returned to the city of Damascus.

Three years after that, I went up to Jerusalem to meet Peter, and I stayed there 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 I’m not writing a lie.

Following that visit I went north to the provinces of Syria and Cilicia. And still the churches of Christ that were 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 was trying to destroy!” And they praised God because of me.

Paul

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