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Sunday, May 12, 2019

What is Your God Story? (from the Study on Galatians Series)

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Our pastor has started his new series.  We are going through a study on the book of Galatians.  Previously, he taught us about freedom in Jesus.  This week, his sermon is titled "Your God Story."  Our key verse in Galatians for this series is Galatians 5:1.

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It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. - Galatians 5:1
The following are my notes based on my pastor's sermon.  You are invited to view the entire sermon here.

Free - Your God Story - May 12, 2019 (Message) from Christ Place Church on Vimeo.

God stories encourage us.
11 For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

13 For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; 14 and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions. 15 But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased 16 to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.
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18 Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. 20 (Now in what I am writing to you, I assure you before God that I am not lying.) 21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea which were in Christ; 23 but only, they kept hearing, “He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they were glorifying God because of me. - Galatians 1:11-24
No one is beyond the reach of God's grace.  Paul led a terrible life of persecuting Christians before he knew Christ.  Before Paul knew Christ, he believed he was the best pharisee.
And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions. - Galatians 1:14
Being good will not get us into Heaven.  No one is "good."  We all need Jesus.  Paul thought he was doing God's work, being advanced in Judaism.  He thought he was doing God's work by getting rid of Christians.  Yet, Paul was lost until He believed in Jesus.

When did you start believing in Christ?
15 But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased 16 to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles. - Galatians 1:15-16
Before Paul knew Jesus, his name had been Saul.  Take a few minutes to learn about Saul's conversion here in Acts 9.

 Paul was pursuing Christians but God was pursuing Paul.   

If you are persecuting followers of Jesus, you are persecuting Jesus . . . just as Paul was doing.

BUT God has set Paul apart even when he was still in the womb.  God had a plan for Paul.  

Paul's eyes were opened and he saw that he needed Jesus.  Have your eyes been opened?
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. - Galatians 2:20
God had prepared Paul to preach to the Gentiles.  

God is preparing you for what He has planned for you. He loves you and He is pursuing you for His good.  

In case you missed it, see Kim's God story here.
   

What is your God story?
 Read all posts in the Galatians Bible study series here.

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