In this session Paul establishes his authority as an Apostle of Jesus Christ. Paul emphasized that Christ Himself had appointed him as an apostle before he met the other apostles. He was not taught by any of them but received he gospel message directly from Christ. He went on to write that those who taught that a person must obey the law in addition to faith in Christ were teaching a new gospel and that they were nullifying God's grace as the basis of their salvation.
Departing From The Gospel
The central theme of Galatians, much like his letter to the Romans which we may study later, is justification by faith. Paul defends that doctrine (which is the heart of the gospel) both in its theological and practical ramifications. For example;
- The inability of the law to justify (2:16; see Rom. 3:20);
- the believer’s deadness the law (Gal. 2:19; see Rom. 7:4);
- the believer’s crucifixion with Christ (2:20; see Rom. 6:6); Abraham’s justification by faith (3:6; see Rom. 4:3);
- believers as Abraham’s spiritual children (3:7; see Rom. 4:10–11) and therefore blessed (3:9; seeRom. 4:23–24);
- the law bringing not salvation but God’s wrath (3:10; see Rom. 4:15);
- the just living by faith (3:11; see Rom. 1:17);
- the universality of sin (3:22; see Rom. 11:32);
- believers as spiritually baptized into Christ (3:27; see Rom. 6:3); believers adopted as God’s spiritual children (4:5–7; see Rom. 8:14–17);
- love fulfilling the law (5:14; see Rom. 13:8–10);
- the importance of walking in the Spirit (5:16; see Rom. 8:4);
- the warfare of the flesh against the Spirit (5:17; see Rom. 7:23, 25);
- the importance of believers bearing one another’s burdens (6:2; see Rom. 15:1).
In Paul’s letter to the church at Rome, he expounds on many of the same theological issues as in Galatians. Read Romans 3:19–28 for more insight about works and grace.
Romans 3:19-28 NKJV Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is good news to rebellious creatures facing the righteous judgment of a holy God. It is, in fact, the best news ever announced. The gospel liberates.
It transforms. It saves.
A number of prominent Jewish legalists (called Judaizers) infiltrated these grace communities and began teaching that faith in Christ alone was not enough to make a person right with God. Salvation, according to their convincing arguments, also required strict adherence to the Mosaic Law. The result was confused congregation sand, ultimately, an angry apostle. Paul’s deep concern over the churches’ defection from the gospel is evident from the opening paragraphs of this letter, which lacks his customary commendations and courtesies and is, instead, brief and impersonal, with a sharp tone.
Galatians 1:1-10 NKJV Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead), and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia: Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.
Let's unpack what we just read:
1 Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead), 2 and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia: 3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
apostle (v. 1)—In general terms, this word means “one who is sent with a commission.” The apostles of Jesus Christ—the Twelve and Paul—were special ambassadors or messengers chosen and trained by Christ to lay the foundation of the early church and be the channels of God’s completed revelation.
Ephesians 2:20 CEB As God’s household, you are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.
not from men . . . but through Jesus Christ (v. 1)—To defend his apostleship against the false teachers’ attack, Paul emphasized that Christ Himself had appointed him as an apostle before he met the other apostles.
During the journey, as he approached Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven encircled him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice asking him, “Saul, Saul, why are you harassing me?” Saul asked, “Who are you, Lord?” “I am Jesus, whom you are harassing,” came the reply. “Now get up and enter the city. You will be told what you must do.” Those traveling with him stood there speechless; they heard the voice but saw no one. After they picked Saul up from the ground, he opened his eyes but he couldn’t see. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind and neither ate nor drank anything.
Acts of the Apostles 9:3-9 CEB
I didn’t go up to Jerusalem to see the men who were apostles before me either, but I went away into Arabia and I returned again to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days.
Galatians 1:17-18 CEB
raised Him from the dead (v. 1)—Paul included this important fact to show that the risen and ascended Christ himself had appointed him; thus Paul was a qualified witness of Christ’s resurrection.
churches of Galatia (v. 2)—the churches Paul founded at Antioch of Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe during his first missionary journey (Acts 13:14–14:23)
Grace to you and peace (v. 3)—Even Paul’s typical greeting attacked the Judaizers’ legalistic system; if salvation is by works as they claimed, it is not of “grace” and cannot result in “peace,”
since no one can be sure he or she has enough good works to be eternally secure.
for our sins (v. 4)—No one can avoid sin by human effort or law-keeping
Romans 3:20 CEB It follows that no human being will be treated as righteous in his presence by doing what the Law says, because the knowledge of sin comes through the Law.
so it must be forgiven, which Christ accomplished through His atoning death on the cross.
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us—because it is written, “ Everyone who is hung on a tree is cursed ”.
Galatians 3:13 CEB
present evil age (v. 4)—The Greek word for “age” does not refer to a period of time but an order or system and, in particular, to the current world system ruled by Satan, which we talked about in Ephesians. That's why we need God's armor.
the will of our God (v. 4)—The sacrifice of Christ for salvation was the will of God designed and fulfilled for His glory
I have come down from heaven not to do my will, but the will of him who sent me. This is the will of the one who sent me, that I won’t lose anything he has given me, but I will raise it up at the last day. This is my Father’s will: that all who see the Son and believe in him will have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. ”
John 6:38-40 CEB
Then he gets into his complaint against them in verse 6.
6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,
turning away (v. 6)—This is better translated “deserting.” The Greek word was used of military desertion which was punishable by death. The form of this Greek verb indicates that the Galatian believers were voluntarily deserting grace to pursue the legalism taught by the false teachers.
so soon (v. 6)—This Greek word can mean either “easily” or “quickly” and sometimes both. No doubt both senses characterized the Galatians’ response to the false teachers’ heretical doctrines.
called you (v. 6)—This could be translated “who called you once and for all” and refers to God’s effectual call to salvation.
grace of Christ (v. 6)—God’s free and sovereign act of mercy in granting salvation through the death and resurrection of Christ, totally apart from any human work or merit.
different gospel (v. 6)—the Judaizers’ perversion of the true gospel; they added the requirements, ceremonies, and standards of the old covenant as necessary prerequisites to salvation.
Another comment about a different gospel.
But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
2 Corinthians 11:3-4 NIV
7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
trouble (v. 7)—The Greek word could be translated “disturb” and means “to shake back and forth,” meaning to agitate or stir up. Here it refers to the deep emotional disturbance that the Galatian believers experienced.
pervert (v. 7)—to turn something into its opposite. By adding law to the gospel of Christ, the false teachers were effectively destroying grace, turning the message of God’s undeserved favor toward sinners into a message of earned and merited favor.
the gospel of Christ (v. 7)—the good news of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone
Brothers and sisters, I want to call your attention to the good news that I preached to you, which you also received and in which you stand. You are being saved through it if you hold on to the message I preached to you, unless somehow you believed it for nothing. I passed on to you as most important what I also received: Christ died for our sins in line with the scriptures,
1 Corinthians 15:1-3 CEB
8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
we, or an angel from heaven (v. 8)—Paul’s point is hypothetical, calling on the most unlikely examples for false teaching —himself and holy angels. The Galatians should receive no messenger, regardless of how impeccable his credentials, if his doctrine of salvation differs in the slightest degree from God’s truth revealed through Christ and the apostles.
let him be accursed (v. 8)—The translation of this Greek word refers to devoting someone to destruction in eternal hell
If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord, come!
I Corinthians 16:22 NKJV
Throughout history, God has devoted certain objects, individuals, and groups of people to destruction.
Now the city shall be doomed by the Lord to destruction, it and all who are in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are consecrated to the Lord ; they shall come into the treasury of the Lord .”
Joshua 6:17-19 NKJV
The New Testament offers many examples of one such group: false teachers. Here the Judaizers are identified as members of this infamous company.
For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.
Matthew 24:24-25 NKJV
They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
Titus 1:16 NKJV
9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
As we have said before (v. 9)—This refers to what Paul taught during an earlier visit to these churches, not to a previous comment in this epistle.
anyone (v. 9)—Paul turns from the hypothetical case of verse 8 (the apostle or heavenly angels preaching a false gospel) to the real situation faced by the Galatians. TheJudaizers were doing just that and were to be devoted to destruction because of their damning heresy.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
The most destructive dangers to the church have never been atheism, pagan religions, or cults that openly deny Scripture, but rather supposedly Christian movements that accept so much biblical truth that their unscriptural doctrines seem relatively insignificant and harmless. But a single drop of poison in a large container can make all the water lethal. And a single false idea that in any way undercuts God’s grace poisons the whole system of belief.
These are the notes to first session of The Christ Church Wednesday Bible Study group's study of the New Testament book of Galatians. Galatians in a letter written to the churches, he founded, in the Galatian (Asia Minor modern Turkey) cities of Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. Paul wrote Galatians to counter false teachers who were undermining the central New Testament doctrine of justification by faith.
DEFENDING THE GOSPEL
In this section, the apostle Paul defends his credentials in order to prove the authority and authenticity of his message.
After establishing churches in the region of Galatia on his first missionary journey, Paul learned that his work there was being undermined by a group commonly identified as the Judaizers. These Jewish loyalists were fiercely devoted to Mosaic ceremonies, standards, and practices and felt that Paul’s gospel message was too far removed from its Jewish roots. They also argued that Paul’s teaching was too easy and did not properly require enough demands of its adherents.
The Judaizers’ response to this troublemaker named Paul was to try and thoroughly discredit him by attacking his credentials as an “apostle” of Christ. The strategy worked. Some Galatian believers began to question Paul’s authority and legitimacy.
Furthermore they questioned his motives. Most important, they began to doubt his message.
Galatians 1:10-24 NKJV For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.) Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ. But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God in me.
KEYS TO THE TEXT
Apostle: “One who is sent with a commission.” An apostle was chosen and trained by Jesus Christ to proclaim His truth during the formative years of the church. In its primary usage, the term applied to the original twelve disciples chosen by Jesus at the beginning of His earthly ministry to lay the foundation of the early church. Jesus also gave them the power to perform healings and to cast out demons as verifying signs of their divine authority.
Because Paul was not among the original twelve, he needed to defend his apostleship. One of the qualifications was witnessing the risen Christ.
Acts 1:21-22 NIV Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”
1 Corinthians 15:3-8 NIV For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance : that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
When did Paul witness the resurrected Christ?
Paul witnessed the resurrected Christ in a unique way as he traveled to Damascus to arrest Christians there.
Acts 9:3-6 NIV As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
Further personal appearances of the Lord to Paul are recorded in
Acts 18:9 NIV One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.
Acts 22:17-21 NIV “When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance and saw the Lord speaking to me. ‘Quick!’ he said. ‘Leave Jerusalem immediately, because the people here will not accept your testimony about me.’ “ ‘Lord,’ I replied, ‘these people know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you. And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’ “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’ ”
Acts 23:11 NIV The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”
2 Corinthians 12:1-4 NIV I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.
Let's unpack the scripture that we read
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.
still pleased men (v. 10)—Paul’s previous motivation when he used to persecute Christians on behalf of his fellow Jews
a bondservant of Christ (v. 10)—Paul had become a willing slave of Christ, which cost him a great deal of suffering from others. Such personal sacrifice is exactly opposite the goal of pleasing men.
Galatians 6:17-18 NIV From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.
11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.
make known to you (v. 11)—The strong Greek verb used here would often introduce an important and emphatic statement about the gospel. He didn't get it from man.
The gospel Paul preached was not human in origin or it would have been like all other human religions, permeated with “works righteousness”—earning salvation by good works—born of human pride and Satan’s deception.
12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.
This is in contrast to the Judaizers, who received their religious instruction from rabbinic tradition. Most Jews did not study the actual Scriptures; instead, they used human interpretations of Scripture as their religious authority and guide. Many of their traditions were not only not taught in Scripture, but also contradicted it.
He got it through revelation from Christ. Revelation is unveiling of something previously kept secret—in this case, Jesus Christ. While he knew about Christ, Paul subsequently met Him personally on the road to Damascus and received the truth of the gospel from Him. (Acts 9:1–16).
13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it.
Judaism was the Jewish religious system of works righteousness, based not primarily on the Old Testament text but on rabbinic interpretations and traditions; in fact, Paul will argue that a proper understanding of the Old Testament can lead only to Christ and His gospel of grace through faith. (We will get to Paul's argument later in Gal. 3:6–29).
But he persecuted —The tense of this Greek verb emphasizes Paul’s persistent and continual effort to hurt and ultimately exterminate Christians.
14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
The Greek word for “advanced” means “to chop ahead,” much like one would blaze a trail through a forest. Paul blazed his path in Judaism and because he saw Jewish Christians as obstacles to its advancement, he worked to cut them down.
Philippians 3:4-6 NIV though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
Paul demonstrated this by the extent to which he pursued and persecuted Christians.
He persecuted Christians because of what he had learned from the traditions of the oral teachings about Old Testament law commonly known as the “Halakah.”
This collection of interpretations of the law eventually carried the same authority as, or even greater than, the law (Torah) itself; its regulations were so hopelessly complex and burdensome that even the most astute rabbinical scholars could not master it by either interpretation or conduct.
15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, 16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
Paul is not talking about being born, separated physically from his mother but being separated or set apart to God for service from the time of his birth. The phrase refers to God’s election of Paul without regard for his personal merit or effort. If it wasn't merit then it was by grace.
On the Damascus Road God actually brought Saul, whom He had already chosen, to salvation.
Not only was Christ revealed to Paul on the Damascus Road, but in him as God gave him the life, light, and faith to believe in Him.
Paul’s specific call was to proclaim the gospel to non-Jews. Paul did not look to Ananias or other Christians at Damascus for clarification of or addition to the revelation he received from Christ.
Acts 9:19-20 NKJV So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus. Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.
Rather than immediately travel to Jerusalem to be instructed by the apostles, Paul instead went to Nabatean Arabia, a wilderness that stretched east of Damascus down to the Sinai peninsula. After being prepared for ministry by the Lord, he returned to minister in nearby Damascus.
18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days.
During those years he made a visit to Damascus and resided in Arabia, under the instruction of the Lord; this visit to Jerusalem is discussed in Acts 9:26–30.
Acts 9:26-30 NKJV And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out. And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him. When the brethren found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus.
He went to become better acquainted with Peter, the apostle who was the personal companion of the Lord and the most powerful spokesman in the early years of the Jerusalem church
19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. 20 (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.)
The directness of this statement indicates that Paul may have been accused of being a liar, or delusional by the Judizer.
21 Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia.
After going to Jerusalem Paul went to Syria and Cilicia. This area included Paul’s hometown of Tarsus—he preached in that region for several years. When word of revival in that area reached Jerusalem, the church there sent Barnabas to check it out.
Acts 11:20-26 NKJV But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord. Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
Paul stayed in that region as a pastor in the church at Antioch.
Then, with Barnabas, he went from there on the first missionary journey and, afterward, returned to Antioch.
Acts 13:1-3 NKJV Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.
From there they were sent to the Jerusalem Council.
Acts 14:26-15:4 NKJV From there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work which they had completed. Now when they had come and gathered the church together, they reported all that God had done with them, and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. So they stayed there a long time with the disciples. And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question. So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, describing the conversion of the Gentiles; and they caused great joy to all the brethren. And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders; and they reported all things that God had done with them.
22 And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ. 23 But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God in me.