For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught [it], but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. [Gal 1:10-12]
Paul lets the readers know that he is not going to “pull any punches” to make everyone feel good. He is the servant of Christ and stands and falls to his own master. He does not stand and fall to them-or to us.
In verse 1 we read about Paul’s apostleship-that it was not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead. Here we are going to learn the same about his gospel-his message of glad tidings. It is not after man. It is not man’s words, and certainly not his own. He did not get his message from the twelve apostles or anyone else previously commissioned. The message came directly from the Lord of Glory.
Each one of us learns the gospel from someone. We don’t get direct revelation from Jesus Christ Himself. This is true whether we get our message from a teacher, or if we come to Christ from reading the scriptures. We are called by the message given in the scriptures. When we are saved, we are saved by this same gospel. It is the gospel that Paul was given by the Lord Himself. Whether we receive it by preaching, i.e. the word of a preacher, or by reading the scriptures, there is an intermediate agent. Paul received this directly from Christ. Paul could not and would not fall back on anyone else’s bona fides. Because of this, Paul devoted much ink to defense of his position because of its uniqueness.
Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some [others], epistles of commendation to you, or [letters] of commendation from you? Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: [Forasmuch as ye are] manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. [2Cor 3:1-3]
Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you. For though He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you. Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates. [2Cor 13:3-6]
A message of good news, a GOSPEL from our Lord Jesus Himself should not be taken lightly. If we say we are Christians, then it is imperative that we heed the message that Christ has given. It is this very gospel given to Paul.
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