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Words of Faith 5-9-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Galatians 1

     [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.


       But specific questions might be asked: "Why should your gospel be considered the only one, Paul? Why not another gospel?"  Or, "If it is true that there can be only one gospel, why should not some entirely other teaching be the one?"

       The answer lies in the origin of this Gospel. Paul denied three possible alternative sources for his teaching.

         First, he denied that it was "according to man."  Paul certified that the gospel did not originate with man. A man-made religion focuses on human merit and the necessity of human works for salvation.  The Gospel of Christ did not.  This was not "something that man made up." The centrality of a cross and a resurrection do not figure in man-made religion. Man seems always to prefer what flatters him and affirms human goodness.

         Paul also denied that his teaching was "received from man." This is a different denial from the first.  The words used refer to the transmission of religious teaching.  The reference is to the sort of memorization through which rabbinic students would receive the teachings of a rabbi. 

         Paul acknowledged that the basic facts of Jesus' life, death, burial, and resurrection were passed on in this way.  But the truth of the Gospel and the power of those events were not something passed along. Although Paul heard Stephen preach and had personal contacts with Ananias and Barnabas, he was not indebted to them for his knowledge of spiritual truth.

        Finally, Paul added that he was not "taught" the gospel either.  There was nothing wrong with being taught the Gospel.  This was the way the Galatians received the Gospel from Paul.  But Paul had received this truth by revelation from Jesus Christ. This was the highest authority.

         The authority of Paul and his message were beyond question.  It was not something that he made up or learned in some foreign land.  The Gospel was of divine origin, received by Paul directly from God.  This revelation of the Christian gospel to Paul was the unveiling of something that had been secret.  The mystery of the Gospel was revealed at the right time in a unique way that we do not experience today. It was that profound.

         Sometimes we miss all that.  We can miss the unique and profound power of the Gospel itself.  The Gospel is not just one of the chapters in Bible history.  It is not a name attached to four of the books in the New Testament.  It is not another type of literature to be appreciated alongside the Wisdom literature and Poetical works of the Bible.  The Gospel is it. 

         Everything points toward the Gospel.  Everything comes together in this Good News-- that God came to us in Jesus.  He lived a perfect life and then died for our sins.  He offers us Eternal life as a free gift if only we will trust in His work, confess our sins and receive this Good News.


           Father God, thank You for the Gospel.  Thank You for the unique revelation You gave to the Apostle Paul so that we might understand all that You had been working on through the centuries.  Thank You most of all for the Good News that we can have life in Christ.  In Jesus' Name. 


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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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