Summary: The Gospel Paul preached was not of human conception but it came to him directly from God. Now that’s an astounding claim to make, a claim which demanded some kind of proof. Paul provides this proof by pointing to himself.
THE LONG REACH OF GOD’S GRACE
Paul’s theme is that the Gospel he preached to man was not of human conception, nor was it a second-hand tale; no it came to him directly from God. Now that’s an astounding claim to make, a claim which demanded some kind of proof. Paul provides this proof by pointing to himself. He pointed to the radical change in his life as the authentication that he received the Gospel directly from God.
Has your life been so radically changed by Christ that when someone questions the truth of the Gospel you could point to what it did in your life? Could you point to the radical change the impact of Christ has had on your life as proof that God has touched your life? Please look with me now at the origins of the authentic Gospel and how it changed Paul’s life.
I. THE GOSPEL’S ORIGINS, 11-12.
Paul continues to demonstrate the Gospel he proclaims is the only one worthy of the name because it is the only one of divine origins. So here
in verse 11 Paul begins His defense of the source of the gospel. For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.
I would have you know introduces a statement the Apostle would have us pay special attention. The subject he calls our attention to is the gospel he preached. [Was preached indicates that they heard it and are responsible for what they have heard.] The apostle defense of himself is a defense of the gospel and the defense of the gospel is a defense of himself.
This unchangeable permanent gospel he preached is not according to man or
did not originate with man. Paul’s gospel is not the product of human ingenuity, devising or input.
[Man-made religions emphasize human merit and the necessity of human works for salvation. Paul’s message did not.]
Second, the apostle declared that he did not receive the gospel from any human source in verse 12. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
Paul takes us back into his personal history with neither did I receive it from man. The I is emphatic. In no matter whatsoever did the gospel reach Paul from any human source. The gospel was not pass on or down from someone else. Third, Paul affirmed that he did not receive the gospel by means of being someone’s pupil who instructed him in it.
How then did he receive it? Paul received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. Paul declares that Jesus Christ Himself directly revealed the Gospel to him, [as He had the other apostles (Gal. 1:16; 1 Cor. 9:1; 15:8)].
This is the highest authority. How then could the Galatians question his authority and message? And how did they dare deviate from this divinely revealed truth? [Walvoord, John; Zuck, Roy; The Bible Knowledge Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985, 591]
We don’t know how or when this revelation occurred. Yes, he had exposure to the gospel message before and after this direct revelation. His point is that the gospel is not his own or someone else’s speculations or ideas.