The indwelling Christ
I declare before God that what I am writing to you is not a lie. After that visit I went north into the provinces of Syria and Cilicia. And still the churches in Christ that are 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 tried to destroy!” And they praised God because of me. Galatians 1:20-24
The gospel of grace that Paul proclaims is true. This is why he invites people to prove for themselves that once they place their faith in Christ, believes in Him, and follow Him they will experience who God is. He proudly declared that Christ indwells him through the Holy Spirit. “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). The indwelling presence of Christ changed his life. He used to persecute the followers of Christ and the church with the purpose of destroying Christianity. But God had a different plan for his life that when he encountered Christ at the Damascus road, he realized his sinfulness and surrendered his life to Christ (see Acts 9). It was all part of God’s eternal plan for him to take the good news to the whole world. Paul did not enter the missionary work and develop the missionary gospel message on his own. God was responsible for it all. He called Paul. It was only because of God’s grace that Paul’s life was changed. When we allow God to take control of our life, change will take place. God should be in-charge! From the text, when Christians heard the report that their former persecutor had become one of them and was now preaching the very message he had previously done everything he could to suppress, they praised God on His good work! This raises a question for every Christian, doesn’t it? Has anybody praised God recently because of me? Can other people see the evidence that proves that He has been at work in me?