Summary: We are confronted with the same group of false apostles as Paul was in his day : Those who seek to dispute the Inerrancy, Infallibility, and Divine Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures; and in so doing, seek to lead us away from the Truth of God’s Word
PAUL’S CERTIFICATION. (Vv. 11-12)
As Paul defended his apostleship in (v. 1), he now defends his message. Paul says that the Gospel he preaches is not intended to please men (tickle ears), nor is it of human origin.
It could not be of man because it did not come to him from a man, but from a direct revelation of Jesus Christ. The First Revelation was on the Damascus road, and no doubt there were other revelations (2 Cor. 12:1).
It is very important for us to see that Paul is attempting here to show the Galatians that what the False apostles are saying about him is not true. (i.e., 1) He received his doctrine from the apostles not God. 2) His doctrine is seriously flawed, in reference to: circumcision and the feasts.) He spends the remainder of chapter 1 defending what he has said in verses 11-12.
Not only are the Galatians being shown the authenticity of Paul’s apostleship and revelation, in the face of his accusers, but you and I are also confronted with the same group of false apostles today: Those who seek to dispute the Inerrancy, Infallibility, and Divine Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures; and therefore seek to lead us away from the Truth of God’s Word.
PAUL’S TRANSFORMATION. (Vv. 13-24)
A) Paul’s Pre-Conversion Life. (Vv. 13-14)
In order to show that his gospel is not from men he cites his history, which could be easily proved by them.
"I persecuted the Church of God..." (Acts 9:1) "Then Saul, breathed out threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord..." (Acts 9:21) "Saul, destroyed those who called on Jesus’ name and brought them bound before the chief priests..."
He made a determined effort to destroy Christianity. (Acts 22:4) "I persecuted [Christians] to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women"
"I advanced in Judaism..." He made progress in it, He was a well educated Pharisee who was exceedingly zealous in his work (the traditions of my fathers) and therefore reached a high degree in it.
B) Paul’s Conversion. (Vv. 15-16a)
"BUT when it pleased God..."
That one word "BUT" is the turning point in the life of Paul, just as it is in the life of all who have been separated unto God for His divine purposes.
He tells of his wonderful transformation to add weight to his claim that: only a heavenly intervention was able to stop him from his "killing spree" and turn him from a persecutor of the gospel into a preacher of the same.
(Acts 26:13-18) "At midday, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ’Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ So I said, ’Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ’I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me."
C) Paul’s Post-Conversion Life. (Vv. 16b-24)
"I conferred not with flesh and blood..." He did not go to men to learn more, or for counsel.
"Neither went I... to them which are apostles..." He did not seek those who were apostles before him in Jerusalem, to be taught by them.
"I went into Arabia..." Maybe for a time of preparation, meditation, reflection, and communion with God.
"And returned again to Damascus..." Here he probably did his first preaching (Acts 9:20-22) "Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God. Then all who heard were amazed, and said, "Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?" But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ."
"Then after three years... I went to see Peter... Other of the apostles I saw none... Save James..."
After three years of preaching Jesus, he went to see Peter for 15 days. This is more proof that not only did he receive a revelation from the Lord, but that it was complete and he had no need to learn more from any of the other apostles.
Paul’s apostleship was from the Lord, Paul’s Gospel was from the Lord; therefore, we can accept every word that Paul gives us in this letter as a word from the Lord.