Sermon Notes 06/28/2020
THE SECRET OF HIS SUCCESS
Galatians 2: 11-21
I wonder sometimes if the Apostle Paul felt foolish or discouraged at times. He was well educated, had been a respected Pharisee, and was a roman citizen. But he chose a path in life that left much of that behind to become a Christian leader. But at times, even the Christians treated him with suspicion and distrust. Yet he was confident he had made the right choices, saying, in Galatians 2:20. "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
Paul, first of all, had submitted himself once and for all to the will of God. Like Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, he could say, “not my will but thine be done.”
This meant that he was totally dedicated to the work God had for him. Many people around us just seem to be going through the motions. This is also true in the church. Many people want to get to heaven but they don’t really want to be involved in doing the work of the kingdom. It is virtually impossible to stop those who are willing to pay the price for that which they believe. St. Paul was such a man. He feared nothing. Why? He had already been crucified with Christ. The fear of death was no longer the debilitating hindrance it had once been. Neither was the fear of humiliation, or pain or rejection. He helped turn the world upside down because he was totally committed to the ministry to which God had called him.
Even more importantly, Paul so opened himself to God, that God could use him as an almost perfect instrument. St. Paul so heard the voice of God directing his life that he could write, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. " No wonder that St. Paul not only persevered but also became one of the most influential men who ever lived. His circumstances couldn't defeat him, his thorn in the flesh could not defeat him, powerful enemies could not defeat him, even time could not defeat him. Today, nearly 2000 years after his death millions read his writings and have life changing experiences.