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Paul Returns Trained by Christ, Spreading the Gospel - (Galatians 1:21-24)
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.
Paul after his years in Arabia under the tutelage of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, travels to Jerusalem, then into the region of Syria and Cilicia. This was no doubt the area of Syrian Antioch, which was located near a sea port. Paul undoubtedly traveled by sea from Jerusalem to this area of Syria. Paul would have also traveled to his home town of Tarsus. This area today is the border between modern Turkey and Syria, just north of the Island of Cyprus. Tarsus was a town located between Antioch-Syria and Cilicia. And it's from this region, where Barnabus would later call Paul to come teach Christians in Antioch-Syria. And it was in Antioch, where the term "Christian" was first coined. The word "Christian" means "Little Christ." And it was from Antioch where Paul and Barnabus were teaching, that God through the Holy Spirit called Paul to his first missionary journey. Paul took Barnabus, and it was during this first missionary journey that the church in Galatia was founded. What's intriguing in these passages is we can see clearly the fruits of Paul's conversion. His reputation is spreading throughout the region back down into Jerusalem because of his faith in Christ.
We have to remember the Jerusalem churches did not know Paul by sight. Paul had only conferred with Peter and James the Lord's half-brother. However, they heard how one, who had once persecuted the church with much zeal, was now preaching the Gospel of Christ, and because of this they glorified God. This account in turn brings to light the point James makes in his letter. As Christians throughout the region were seeing the sincerity of Paul's faith because of his works pleasing to God, they glorified God. Works that the Apostle Paul was performing for the Gospel's sake, out of his love for Christ, his love for God and for scripture. Works, which were carried out under the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit. At the time Paul founded the Galatian church, a decade or more had passed since his conversion. During that time the apostles in Jerusalem and other Christians throughout the region were glorifying God because of Paul. And by this validating the Gospel which the Apostle Paul was preaching. This meant that Peter, James and the other apostles had themselves acknowledged Paul's apostolic calling. And this along with the personal history of his conversion and his life after conversion, made the claims of the Judaizers even more absurd while confirming Paul's authority as an apostle of Christ Jesus our Lord.
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n a gheataibh-san a steach,
Is thigibh fòs le maladh mòr
an cùirtibh naomh a theach :
Is thugaibh dha mòr-bhuidheachas,
ainm beannaichibh gu binn.
Psalm 100: 4
"Beware of the false prophets! They come to you wearing sheep's clothing, but underneath they are hungry wolves! You will recognize them by their fruit. Can people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?
Matthew 7: 15-16 Complete Jewish Bible
Dear friends, don't trust every spirit. On the contrary, test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.1 John 4:1 Complete Jewish Bible