New American Standard Bible
But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, was pleased
King James Bible
But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,
Darby Bible Translation
But when God, who set me apart even from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,
World English Bible
But when it was the good pleasure of God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me through his grace,
Young's Literal Translation
and when God was well pleased -- having separated me from the womb of my mother, and having called me through His grace --
Galatians 1:15 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
But when it pleased God - Paul traced all his hopes of eternal life, and all the good influences which had ever borne upon his mind, to God.
Who separated me ... - That is, who destined me; or who purposed from my very birth that I should be a preacher and an apostle. The meaning is, that God had in his secret purposes set him apart to be an apostle. It does not mean that he had actually called him in his infancy to the work, for this was not so, but that he designed him to be an important instrument in his hands in spreading the true religion. Jeremiah Jer 1:5 was thus set apart, and John the Baptist was thus early designated for the work which they afterward performed. It follows from this:
(1) That God often, if not always, has purposes in regard to people from their very birth. He designs them for some important field of labor, and endows them at their creation with talents adapted to that.
(2) it does not follow that because a young man has gone far astray; and has become even a blasphemer and a persecutor, that God has not destined him to some important and holy work in his service. How many people have been called, like Paul, and Newton, and Bunyan, and Augustine, from a life of sin to the service of God.
(3) God is often training up people in a remarkable manner for future usefulness. His eye is upon them, and He watches over them, until the time comes for their conversion. His providence was concerned in the education and training of Paul. It was by the divine intention with reference to his future work that he had so many opportunities of education, and was so well acquainted with the "traditions" of that religion which he was yet to demonstrate to be unfounded and false. He gave him the opportunity to cultivate his mind, and prepare to grapple with the Jew in argument, and show him how unfounded were his hopes. So it is often now. He gives to a young man an opportunity of a finished education. Perhaps he suffers him to fall into the snares of infidelity, and to become familiar with the arguments of sceptics, that he may thus be better prepared to meet their sophisms and to enter into their feelings. God's eye is upon them in their wanderings, and they are often allowed to wander far; to range the fields of science; to become distinguished as scholars, as Paul was; until the time comes for their conversion, and then, in accordance with the purpose which set them apart from the world, God converts them, and consecrates all their talents and attainments to His service.
(4) we should never despair of a young man who has wandered far from God. If he has risen high in attainments; if his whole aim is ambition; or if he has become an infidel, still we are not to despair of him. It is still possible that God "separated" that talent to his service from his very birth, and that God still means to call it all to His service. How easy it was to convert Saul of Tarsus when the proper period arrived. So it is of the now unconverted and unconsecrated, but cultivated talent among the young men of our land. Far as they may have wandered from God and virtue, yet much of that talent has been devoted to Him in baptism, and by parental purposes and prayers; and, it may be - as is morally certain from the history of the past - that much of it is consecrated also by the divine purpose and intention for the noble cause of virtue and pure religion. In that now apparently wasted talent; in that learning now apparently devoted to other aims and ends, there is much that may still adorn the cause of virtue and religion; and how fervently we should pray that it may be "called" by the grace of God and actually devoted to His service.
And called me by his grace - On the way to Damascus. It was special grace, because he was then engaged in bitterly opposing Him and His cause.
LibraryThe Epistles of St. Paul
WHEN we pass from primitive Christian preaching to the epistles of St. Paul, we are embarrassed not by the scantiness but by the abundance of our materials. It is not possible to argue that the death of Christ has less than a central, or rather than the central and fundamental place, in the apostle's gospel. But before proceeding to investigate more closely the significance he assigns to it, there are some preliminary considerations to which it is necessary to attend. Attempts have often been made, …
James Denney—The Death of Christ
Exposition of St. Paul's Words, Gal. I. 8.
Fifth Sunday after Epiphany
Listen to Me, O islands, And pay attention, you peoples from afar. The LORD called Me from the womb; From the body of My mother He named Me.
And now says the LORD, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel might be gathered to Him (For I am honored in the sight of the LORD, And My God is My strength),
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations."
But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;
Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
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