Paul spends Galatians 1:10-24 defending his right to share the unadulterated gospel that he had received. His goal in spreading the Good News was not to please men. He refused to give people the loyalty or influence over his life that was reserved for his Master alone. He also wanted them to know that the gospel he’d shared wasn’t something he’d thought up on his own nor gotten from anyone else (though it was the same gospel that the other Apostles shared), but instead it came by Jesus’ direct revelation.
Paul experienced the power of the gospel of grace for himself. He had lived a life of religious zeal, to a greater degree than any of his peers, but it wasn’t enough to redeem him. Man’s efforts can never be zealous or righteous enough to earn salvation. On the flip-slide, Paul’s life though marked by relentless persecution of believers couldn’t ever be wicked enough to bar him from the salvation that would transform his life! In fact, Paul recounts that the early believers testified concerning his changed life; “The one who used to persecute us is now preaching the very faith he tried to destroy.”
And these early believers praised God because of Paul’s changed life. May it also be said of us that Christ’s gospel of grace so transforms our every part, causing others to praise God over the changes they see and realize that we can neither be good enough to earn, nor wicked enough to disqualify us from receiving salvation- instead we all stand in need of God’s boundless grace!