Summary: Paul's gospel did not come from man but God.
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Delete Discussion Intro:
1. E. Stanley Jones tells about a missionary who was lost in an African Jungle – he was surrounded by nothing but thick brush. Finally he came to an opening and found a native hut. He asked him if he would get him back to the mission station.
As they hacked their way slowly through the thick brush, he asked the native, are
“You sure this is the right way? I don’t see any path!” He replied, “Bwana, in this
place I am the path!”
2. In the first century, God chose individuals, called apostles, to cut out a path for the church to follow. These foundational pioneers, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit gave us our Bible.
“19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone,
21 in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.” Eph. 2:19-20
3. The Apostle Paul’s Divine authority to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Trans: Gal. 1:1:1-5
Paul has established churches in Galatia by the presentation of the Gospel, not long afterwards false teaches came in and taught that the gospel was Jesus plus the keeping of the Law of Moses. Ac. 15:1
To lift themselves up, they had to tear Paul down, thus were seeking to discredit Paul’s apostleship – he was not one of the Twelve Apostles, thus a mere self-appointed apostle who lacked authority.
Three basic Problems with Paul:
(1) He was not a Good man.
“1 Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.
2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.
3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.” Ac 8:1-3
“1 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.” Ac. 9:1-2
Galatians 1:13 (NKJV)
“13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it.” Gal. 1:13
We still have people today who think a man is not qualified to preach because of past sins – they are no longer worthy! Truth is no man is worthy to stand behind a pulpit by his own merit!
Paul knew that the secret was to forget what was behind and to reach forward to the prize of the high calling in Christ…Phil. 3:13-14
Forgetting the past and pressing on is a difficult thing to do. But as a minister you must do it. How? By concentrating and controlling your mind and by reaching forth to those things which are before you. Note the concentration and focus:
• BUT THIS ONE THING I DO.
“In one focused act, you must forget the past and reach forth to those things that are before you. This act involves two steps: both forgetting and reaching forth. The past cannot be forgotten without reaching forth to what lies ahead.
You must not sit around moaning and regretting the past. You must not wallow around in self-pity when you come short or fail. You must not allow the feelings of being unworthy to grip you. We are all unworthy, totally unworthy, and we cannot be more unworthy than to be totally unworthy.
This is not to excuse our failure and shortcoming… we are to confess and forsake sin and failure. This is what you—all ministers of God—must always do. Confess and repent and get up and begin to serve Christ with a renewed commitment.
You must not concentrate upon the past. The things of the past are to be forgotten. The things of the future are to be the focus of your mind. You are to zero in on the things at hand and on the things that lie ahead. If you do this, you will conquer and overcome in life, and you will complete and fulfill your ministry for the Lord Jesus Christ.” [What The Bible Says To The Minister: The Minister's Personal Handbook]
(2) He was not one of God’s original Twelve.
He did not know Jesus Christ in his earthly ministry, was not one of the Twelve that Jesus selected. He was not even endorsed by them!