“For I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin; for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
You have heard, no doubt, of my earlier life in Judaism. I was violently persecuting the church of God and was trying to destroy it. I advanced in Judaism beyond many among my people of the same age, for I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors. But when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with any human being, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus.
Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days; but I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord’s brother. In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie! Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia, and I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea that are in Christ; they only heard it said, “The one who formerly was persecuting us is now proclaiming the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God because of me.” (Galatians 1:11-24)
Now, for Paul. It is tempting to say he is the antithesis of support for women of faith, but that would be playing to a section of people who favor ferment about Paul. There was a time when he was not well liked, but with cool and objective study it became apparent that what Paul said about women was taken out of the context he wrote it to – a certain group about a certain situation. Yes, I have my difference with Paul, but theological and not based on any feminist perspective. Let me affirm what he says.
Paul came to faith purely through the intervention of God. Yes, a man of God came to him and prayed over him so that he might have his sight restored. But he was convicted of belief by a Divine encounter on the road to Damascus.
As ardent as he was prosecuting believers, he became just as ardent about preaching about Jesus and God. It is actually his ardent nature, exhorting forth about all sorts of topics and gathering authority unto himself that irks me. But do confirm his ardent nature.
I do think too that he was foreordained to preach to the Gentiles. His brash nature upset the Jews, so it was to the Gentiles he went. And the Divine has a sense of humor, sending a devote Jew to the Gentiles!
And finally, he did bring glory to God. And continues to bring glory through the letters he wrote to believers. So powerful a force he was, that his writings have been retained and handed down through/as holy scripture. As I have said before, I am looking forward to meeting him in the world to come. Selah!