Paul: The Separated Apostle, by T. David Simpson
“But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace.” Galatians 1:15
Paul was separated by God
Paul claimed: “when it pleased God, (He) separated me” (Gal 1:15). Separation came not upon the condition of his will but of God’s. The interjection of man’s will into election before time, justification at the cross, or effectual grace in experience is false doctrine.
Paul was separated from false religion
The apostle quoted Isaiah saying, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate” (2 Cor. 6:17). His subject was not morality or marriage, but truth in opposition to error. False doctrine has to do with people: “them”. The gospel, the faith, is a single and settled body of truth. Determining the characteristics of the faith and departing from error is not an option. It is what believers do!
Paul was separated to the gospel
The apostle announced he was: “separated unto the gospel of God” (Rom 1:1). His perspective and preaching were limited and purposeful: condemnation by a representative; justification by a Representative (5:12-19). Those who reject Paul’s gospel of forgiveness, redemption, and justification, not only by, but at the cross, consider him narrow. He didn’t vacillate but declared the gospel to which he was separated.
T. David Simpson, From Shreveport Grace Church Bulletin -- February 15, 2009