Galatians 1:11-1:24

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Text: Galatians 1:11-24

PAUL'S GOSPEL: NOT FROM HUMAN SOURCES

INTRODUCTION:

Paul's gospel never changed. The gospel he preached at the beginning of his ministry was the same gospel he preached throughout his ministry.

Paul's gospel also did not differ from the gospel which the other apostles were preaching.

There are those who had come along, however, who did preach a gospel of a different sort. They were preaching that to be saved, one not only had to trust Christ but also to keep the Law. This sparked quite a controversy in the early history of Christianity. Paul is writing Galatians in order to show that his gospel was received by direct revelation from God about Jesus Christ rather than from some human source and that, therefore, there was no confusion or change in it.

Today, we likewise hear different gospels preached. Some add good works, some add baptism, some add other things, but we must be very clear regarding what the Bible really has to say about salvation. Even in fundamental circles there seems to be a watering down of the gospel as taught in the Bible, an easy-believism which must be rejected. There sometimes seems to be an emotional pressure brought to bear on the hearers which only adds confusion. We certainly don't want anyone confused about the gospel.

Many people profess to be saved but deny their salvation by the way they live. Some claim to have been saved more than once. Something is clearly wrong.

It's a dangerous thing. If we are not precise as well as accurate in our presentation of the gospel, we run the risk that people may be confused regarding the gospel, that they may think they are really saved but not actually be saved. We also adulterate the gospel whenever we include things which are not part of the gospel.

We can always go back to a few verses and keep things straight:

John 3:16 - (16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

I Corinthians 15:3-4 - (3) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; (4) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.

Romans 10:9 - (9) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Ephesians 2:8-10 - (8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast. (10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

I. PAUL'S STATEMENT - 1:11-12

Galatians 1:11-12 - (11) But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. (12) For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

1. The gospel preached by Paul is not after man.

Is not after man means that it is not according to man or that it is not in relation to man. This indicates that the gospel does not have a human source.

2. Paul did not receive the gospel from man

I is emphatic.

Man is the generic term and includes females as well as males.

3. Paul was not taught the gospel.

4. Paul received the gospel he preached by revelation about Jesus Christ from God the Father. Cf. verses 15-16

II. PAUL'S EXPLANATION OF HIS STATEMENT - 1:13-24

1. Prior to his salvation, Paul had spent his time advancing in Judaism and persecuting Christians - 1:13-14

Galatians 1:13-14 - (13) For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: (14) And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.

In my conversation (i.e. manner of life), the my is emphatic.

I persecuted = I was persecuting

I wasted = I was wasting

I advanced = I was advancing, I was progressing

2. When Paul was saved, he did not confer with any human being regarding the gospel - 1:15-16

Galatians 1:15-16 - (15) But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, (16) To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

3. When Paul was saved, he did not go to Jerusalem to consult the apostles - 1:17

Galatians 1:17 - (17) Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

4. When Paul was saved, he went to Arabia and then returned to Damascus - 1:17

Galatians 1:17 - (17) Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

5. Three years after Paul was saved, he went to Jerusalem to see Peter for fifteen days - 1:18

Galatians 1:18 - (18) Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.

6. While in Jerusalem to visit Peter, the only other apostle Paul saw was James, the Lord's brother; and he was an apostle (of a different sort) - 1:19.

Galatians 1:19 - (19) But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.

Other = other (of a different sort), others who were called apostles but not of the twelve

7. Afterwards, Paul went to the regions of Syria and Cilicia so that he was unknown unto the churches of Judea - 1:20-24

Galatians 1:20-24 - (20) Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. (21) Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; (22) And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: (23) But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. (24) And they glorified God in me.

CONCLUSION:

Thus, it was impossible for Paul to have received his gospel from any human source inasmuch as he had almost no contact with others who were preaching the gospel. He had, in fact, as he clearly stated, received his gospel by direct revelation.

Thus, he knew clearly what it was. There was no confusion on his part, and keeping the Law was not a part of the gospel, then or now.