What's Your Testimony?
Galatians 1:15-16 “[God] who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me.”
Paul spends the first chapter and more to share his testimony of coming to saving faith in Christ through God’s grace and his ensuing years of growth as an evangelist and leader in the Christian movement.
In verse 15, Paul explains that God’s call to salvation was something that God initiated that even pre-dates Paul’s own birth. Paul emphasizes throughout Galatians that it can’t be Jesus + anything that brings salvation. It’s God’s sovereign choice to gift salvation to undeserving people like Paul and like me.
I remember when I responded to God’s call to put faith in Him back when I was 16 years old. God spoke to me as I prayed by myself outside the boys’ dorms at Hume Lake and I surrendered to the LORD, receiving His saving grace. Looking back, I realize that God had His call on me far before I was 16—before I was born according to Galatians 1:15 and before the foundation of the world according to Paul in Ephesians 1:4 “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”
I won’t get into a lengthy discussion in this post about the Reformed understanding of election and predestination, but I did want to emphasize that in Galatians and Ephesians Paul’s emphasis on God’s gracious choosing of him leads him to a sense of gratitude and joy. I know when I surrendered my life to Jesus at 16, I was filled in that very moment with an incredible joy that could only be explained as supernatural.
Your testimony doesn’t need to include a supernatural experience like I had—nor an appearance of Jesus like Paul had—to be an incredible testament to God’s faithfulness. But I do want you to think about your testimony. How did you come to saving faith in Christ? Did your spiritual journey include a clear demarcation from being lost to found or was it more of a process over a period of time? What was your life like before knowing Christ as Lord and what was it like afterward? Lastly, when was the last time you shared your testimony? As we continue to study Galatians, I hope you’ll be inspired to share how God’s grace through faith has changed your life. You may discover someone who doesn’t know yet that God has chosen them to be one of His followers. What a joy it would be to see someone know Christ as their Lord and Savior!
Living Out God’s Word
Write out your testimony this week and note when you first sensed a pull toward God. Note any significant moments of coming to faith in Christ, including the very ordinary aspects as well as the extraordinary or supernatural. Spend time thanking God for the salvation given to you by grace through faith. Make it a point to pray for those who need God’s salvation and an opportunity to share your testimony with them.
Father, for some reason in Your wisdom and mercy, I was chosen to be found in You before I was born and even before the creation of the world! I give thanks for the salvation I’ve received that I never earned and can never lose. Give me the opportunity to share my testimony this week to someone who needs to hear it. I trust Your Spirit will guide me toward an opportunity and use my imperfect story to help someone consider following You. Thank You for Your gift of grace! Amen.