Summary: Galatians 1:11-24, A man sent from God
A Man Sent From God
* Every once in a while, God finds him a man who is unwilling to be like everyone else.
* God finds him a person who has the courage to stand up and to stand out.
* God finds him an Abraham, an Elijah, a David, or a Daniel
* Too many of us are satisfied to be like some other well-known Christian.
* We are unwilling or too afraid to step out and cut a new path through the forest of our times.
(From W. Wiersbe… 3 statements) -
1) Emerson wrote – "Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.”
2) The English art critic John Ruskin said, “I fear uniformity. You cannot manufacture great men any more than you can manufacture gold.”
3) The German philosopher Schopenhauer wrote, “We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people.”
Joke - Failing Eyesight
I read of an older lady who was expecting a gentleman friend to call on
her later in the day. She was nervous because her eyesight was failing and was afraid her friend might reject her because she was less than perfect. So, she came up with a plan to prove to him that she could see perfectly.
She put a straight pin in a tree that was about 200 feet from her front porch.
When her friend arrived, they sat in the porch swing and were talking when she suddenly stopped the conversation and asked, "Is that a pin sticking in that tree?"
Her friend squinted his eyes and said, "I don’t see a thing."
"Well, I’m going to go see," she said as she jumped up, ran toward the tree, and collided with a cow.
* It is amazing what we will do to be like other people.
* Paul was a unique servant of God.
* None of us could ever be like him in dedication, fervor, or compassion for people.
* I believe much of the reason Paul was such great an example and such an effective minister, is because of the experiences he had with God.
- He was blinded by his first encounter with Jesus.
- He saw things no other human has ever seen… caught up into the third heaven
- Because of the abundance of the revelations, he was given a thorn in the flesh.
* Here in Galatians, we see the uniqueness of Paul and his message.
I. The message v. 11-12
A. Negatively v. 11-12b
1. The message was not man-made v. 11
* NIV – "not something that man made up"
* It wasn’t the brain child of Paul.
* He didn’t dream it up
* Not a human invention
* Not manufactured by man
* Not a device or invented story of man’s brain;
2. The message was not received from man v. 12a
* Not from Gamaliel, at whose feet he was brought up;
-- he received the law from him, and knowledge of the Jews’ religion
and the traditions of the elders, BUT not one iota of the Gospel;
* Not handed down like traditional teaching
* Ordinary ministers receive their call to preach the gospel by the mediation of others,
* There was no superior or Pope to lay hands on Paul and pass on their authority to him.
3. The message was not taught by man v. 12b
* He did not learn it of men, as men learn law, physics, philosophy, and other things at school
* It wasn’t a seminary degree that gave Paul the gospel.
* Human nature could never have revealed it to him
* There was no human training involved.
* There was no human instructor that taught Paul the gospel.
* There was no University of Tarsus that taught Paul the gospel.
* It was not by information from others, but by revelation from heaven
B. Positively v. 12c
1. The message originated with God
* Paul’s message and ministry had divine origin.
* The gospel wasn’t man’s idea, it was God’s from the beginning of time.
- Man’s idea is to earn your way by doing something. God’s way- different
2. The message came through God’s Son
* Paul received the Gospel from Jesus
* Both Paul’s message and ministry were given to him from God.
* Paul’s knowledge of the gospel and his authority to preach it came from Jesus himself.
* Paul had heard Stephen preach as he held his clothes and Paul had personal contacts with Ananias and Barnabas, but he was not indebted to them for his knowledge of the gospel.
* It was by revelation of Jesus himself.
II. The man v. 13-24
A. Paul’s life before conversion v. 13-14
1) Spiteful persecutor of Christians v. 13