Because of Me
All of the saved are thus due to their acceptance and interaction with the blood of Christ. Prior to receiving the free gift of salvation, we were deserving of being judged as sinners, enemies of God. Truly, we are all still guilty of being sinners, the difference being the mediation of Christ who has paid our penalty. But I wasn’t always His child, and there are plenty of sins from which I should (and do) thank God for saving me.
Paul’s letter to the Galatians contains a line that is as bold as it is beautiful. The verse is found in 1.24, “And they glorified God because of me.”
Devoid of context, this appears to be a statement that reveals saints praising God because of something that Paul has done. May I point out; if any evangelist, elder, or regular ol’ Joe (intentional, unashamed family reference) causes people to glorify God then they have done well. May each of us consider how to help others see the importance of extoling the majesty of God! What can we do to help others see that God is worthy of our admiration and praise? -Let’s do that. Whatever Paul did might be a good place for us to start, so let’s check the context.
Backing up to the previous verses we see that the discussion is about who does and does not know Paul. Paul says the churches of Judea would not recognize his face (v22), but they are doing something interesting- They are bragging about God’s ability to save someone as unworthy as Paul. They are bragging about his ability to bring others to Christ after persecuting Christians. “[The churches in Judea] only were hearing it said, ‘He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy’” (v23).
Let’s make this a bit clearer: they are bragging that JESUS saved Paul. They are excited because Paul repented of his sins so that JESUS could save him. They are glorifying God because of salvation being presented to the most unworthy of individuals. They are glorifying God’s ability to bring about change in the heart of an insolent, heretical murderer. God be praised, because He can so deeply change the life of a sinner to proclaim the very same salvation he once sought to stomp out. Praise the Lord; He can save anyone, no matter who they were; all can be saved.