Galatians 1:11-24 Study Guide
11 For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. 12 For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. 14 And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. 18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother. 20 (In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!) 21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God because of me.
Main Idea: The gospel can be trusted because it is from God not created by men.
Overview: In this section, Paul argues that the gospel that he proclaims is not man-made but divinely revealed by Jesus Christ to him. Paul recounts his conversion and early life as a follower of Christ and gives evidence of the truthfulness and power of the gospel he preaches.
Observation and Interpretation
- Read Galatians 1:11-12 and more about Paul’s conversion in Acts 9:1-19. How did Paul come to know that gospel that he proclaims? Why is the source of this information important to Paul’s argument?
- In Galatians 1:13-16, Paul gives insight into his religious background. How does Paul’s prior commitment to the law and opposition to Jesus’ compare to his new passion for the gospel? How are these two ways of life incompatible? What changes do you think happened in Paul’s life as a result?
- In Galatians 1:16-22, Paul overviews some of the time following his conversion. Where did he go, and who did he spend time with? How would Paul’s limited connection with other early church leaders strengthen his argument that the gospel he proclaims is not from man?
- Paul had a first-hand experience of Jesus. One temptation we may face is learning more from the experiences of others than our own relationship with Christ. How would you describe your relationship with Jesus and your pursuit of Him through prayer and studying the scriptures?
- Compare Galatians 1:15-16 to Romans 8:28-30. As you reflect on your own faith story, identify specific instances where you see how God was at work in your past. What circumstances did God use to make the truth of Christ clear to you? How would you currently describe God’s purpose for your life?
- Paul’s conversion and commitment to share the gospel caused others to worship God. How have you been encouraged by someone else’s growth and transformation? Who could you share your faith story with this week?
Prayer Point: Give thanks to God for how he has worked in your life. Ask him to continue to reveal himself to you through his word and to provide you with a passion for proclaiming the gospel with accuracy and power.