But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,…
"To reveal His Son in me," might seem to imply some internal revelation; doubtless there was, but St. Paul more immediately referred to the fact that God intended to reveal His Son to mankind by and through him; he was to be the instrument of the revelation; God had revealed Christ to him, that he might reveal Him to others. For God can never make a revelation of His Son through a man, until He has first made the revelation within him; the lamp cannot illuminate until the light has been lighted within it; the light shines without because it shines within; and if St. Paul could speak confidently of God having been pleased to call him by His grace, and to reveal Christ through him to the heathen, it was because he could speak confidently of that revelation of Christ to his own soul, which had so thoroughly converted his mind and changed the purpose of his life. Let us leave St. Paul, however, for a few moments, and let me remind you how that God has from the beginning revealed Himself to man, and that the spiritual condition of man before God has depended upon the way in which he has received the revelation. To be able to receive a revelation from God, this is one mark of humanity; and to be able to reject the revelation, this is another. Next observe that the whole course of sacred history, since the days of Adam, has been a history of revelations. God has revealed, unveiled, discovered Himself to this man and to that, in order that he to whom God has been revealed may reveal Him to ethers; the process of which St. Paul speaks when he says, "to reveal His Son in me," is the very process which has been going on from the beginning. Look at Noah. Look at Abraham. "The Lord had said unto Abraham." That is the very beginning of his history. Once more, look at Moses. You see precisely the same characteristics of conduct. He, too, received a revelation from God; and the pressure of the responsibility which that revelation brought with it is made all the more conspicuous by the fact that Moses shrank from it, and tried to evade it. We wish to regard ourselves as laid under a pressure of responsibility by the fact of our having received a revelation from God.
(The Dean of Ely.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,