Summary: Some at Galatia were attempting to descredit Paul’s ministry. Paul emphasizes that he was not called by men but by God.
CALLED BY GOD
Galatians 1:11-24 (NIV)
11 I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus.
18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie. 21 Later I went to Syria and Cilicia. 22 I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they praised God because of me.
A. FALSE ACCUSERS TRIED TO DISCREDIT PAUL
1. STORY – “Falsely Accused”
Preachers are often the brunt of false accusations.
JERRY OWENS - Once, an evangelist named Jerry Owen was
awarded $35,000 in a slander suit filed against television station
KCOP in Los Angeles because an executive at the TV station
claimed that the evangelist’s TV program was canceled because
the evangelist was a thief who burned down churches and was
supposedly involved in the murder of Robert F. Kennedy.
LARRY LEA – Defamed on national televison. Accused of lieing
about his house and not praying for those who sent prayer requests. Was later exonerated.
KENNETH HAGIN – Accused of following the “little god” doctrine taught by others in WOF. Taken out of context. Accused of saying, “We are Christ” Said, “We are the body of Christ.” For the record, I am not a follower of Kenneth Hagin. However, there are plenty of things to criticize a man about and it ought to be accurate if someone is going to make an accusation.
2. One of the main objectives of the Judaizers was to discredit Paul’s apostolic authority.
3. They tried discredit the message by discrediting the messenger.
4. They tried to undermine the gospel by undermining Paul.
5. They spread rumors that Paul was not a real apostle.
B. THEY ALSO TRIED TO DISCREDIT PAUL’S MOTIVES
1. They told people that Paul was self-appointed.
2. They told people that his motive was just to build up a following.
3. They said he watered down the gospel to make it more appealing.
4. Paul was accused of watering down the gospel to make it easy.
5. They accused him of being a people pleaser who simply said what men wanted to hear.
C. PAUL PROVED THAT HIS MOTIVES WERE GODLY (1:10)
1. In verse 9 Paul pronounced a curse on false teachers.
2. He said, “Anyone who preaches a different gospel is accursed.”
2. (v.10) “Am I NOW trying to win the approval of men, or of God?”
3. Obviously, Paul’s condemnation of these false teachers (v. 9) did not fit the bill of a people-pleaser.
4. If he was a people-pleaser, he would be trying not to offend anyone.
5. If he was a people-pleaser, he wouldn’t be pronouncing any curses.
6. Obviously, Paul’s motive was not simply to please people.
7. He wasn’t interested in entertaining people.
8. He was interested in saving people.
9. He wanted nothing short of God’s will to be done.
10. There are some in Christianity today who are NOT like Paul.
11. There are people-pleasers today who are soft on doctrine and long on sweet talk.
12. There are some who would rather please men than please God.
13. But, as for Paul, his only motive was to please God and God alone.
D. PAUL WAS CALLED…
1. There are three “G”s in Paul’s calling and these are my points.
2. Paul called by GOD.
3. Paul called by GOD to preach the GOSPEL.
4. Paul called by GOD to preach the GOSPEL to the GENTILES.
I. PAUL CALLED BY GOD (vv. 11–12)
A. PAUL’S MESSAGE WAS NOT MADE UP BY MAN (v.11)
1:11 “I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up.”