Galatians 1:3-23

3 So I greet you with the great words, grace and peace!
4 We know the meaning of those words because Jesus Christ rescued us from this evil world we're in by offering himself as a sacrifice for our sins. God's plan is that we all experience that rescue.
5 Glory to God forever! Oh, yes!
6 I can't believe your fickleness - how easily you have turned traitor to him who called you by the grace of Christ by embracing a variant message!
7 It is not a minor variation, you know; it is completely other, an alien message, a no-message, a lie about God. Those who are provoking this agitation among you are turning the Message of Christ on its head.
8 Let me be blunt: If one of us - even if an angel from heaven! - were to preach something other than what we preached originally, let him be cursed.
9 I said it once; I'll say it again: If anyone, regardless of reputation or credentials, preaches something other than what you received originally, let him be cursed.
10 Do you think I speak this strongly in order to manipulate crowds? Or curry favor with God? Or get popular applause? If my goal was popularity, I wouldn't bother being Christ's slave.
11 Know this - I am most emphatic here, friends - this great Message I delivered to you is not mere human optimism.
12 I didn't receive it through the traditions, and I wasn't taught it in some school. I got it straight from God, received the Message directly from Jesus Christ.
13 I'm sure that you've heard the story of my earlier life when I lived in the Jewish way. In those days I went all out in persecuting God's church. I was systematically destroying it.
14 I was so enthusiastic about the traditions of my ancestors that I advanced head and shoulders above my peers in my career.
15 Even then God had designs on me. Why, when I was still in my mother's womb he chose and called me out of sheer generosity!
16 Now he has intervened and revealed his Son to me so that I might joyfully tell non-Jews about him.
17 and without going up to Jerusalem to confer with those who were apostles long before I was - I got away to Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus,
18 but it was three years before I went up to Jerusalem to compare stories with Peter. I was there only fifteen days - but what days they were!
19 Except for our Master's brother James, I saw no other apostles.
20 (I'm telling you the absolute truth in this.)
21 Then I began my ministry in the regions of Syria and Cilicia.
22 After all that time and activity I was still unknown by face among the Christian churches in Judea.
23 There was only this report: "That man who once persecuted us is now preaching the very message he used to try to destroy."
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