Galatians 1:11-13 Bible Study and Commentary
So last time we looked at Galatians 1:10 where Paul said he wasn’t trying to please man, but God. Paul wasn’t preaching a message to gain popularity, or make everyone feel good, or for his own gain. Paul preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and his sole purpose was to please God.
Is God’s word enough for you?
11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
So in the first verse of Galatians, Paul said he was an apostle of Jesus Christ. Paul was explaining to the people in the churches in Galatia that he was personally commissioned by Jesus himself to bring the Gospel to the gentiles. This was very important for the new believers to understand as well as the Judaizers who were trying to preach a different Gospel. Paul wanted the people in Galatia to question the authority of the Judaizers and for them to understand his authority as an apostle.
Today we see that Paul continues this thought. Paul wants people to understand that the Gospel message he was given was not from man, but from God. Unlike the message that the Judaizers brought the people of Galatia, Paul’s message was revealed to him by God himself. Most people today and then heard the Gospel because another person told them the Gospel. That is the way it is supposed to work, but Paul heard the Gospel directly from Jesus. Let’s look in the book of Acts to hear how Paul received the Gospel from Jesus.
13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.
14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Paul recalls his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. What is interesting is that Paul was against the Christians, and was a high ranking Jewish man who persecuted the Christians. Paul’s reputation of being against Christians was well known. Paul also would know more about Judaism than most men and certainly more than the Judaizers who were spreading their false doctrine in the churches of Galatia. Paul, from a worldly view had a lot to lose by preaching the Gospel of Christ. There really wasn’t any incentive to him to start preaching the Gospel of Christ from a here and now perspective.
So the bottom line is that Paul had authority to teach and preach the Gospel, and he had nothing to gain from a worldly perspective. His sole purpose was to teach and preach what God gave him. In Paul’s day the word of God was not complete, that is why it was necessary for God to use certain men like Paul and give these people certain authority to establish God’s word. Today we don’t have that problem, but there are still people who question the authority of God’s word. There are still people who try to twist the meaning or undermine it. There are still people who only preach or teach parts of it because they only like parts of it. Men and women will always try to change what God has spoken and ordained, and would rather men hear their words than God’s word.
There is a simple application here. Men and women don’t need more messages from men. Men and women don’t need more wisdom from other men and women. What people need today is God’s message to them and God’s wisdom. Many people today preach and teach everything but God’s word to those that will listen. It was no different in Paul’s day. Paul had preached what God had given him, and then someone came behind him and preached something false and yet the people listened to it. The same happens today. Christians today need to stop looking for some new thing and stick with what God has already given us…His word.
Don’t try to make something new from something that is already settled.
Is God’s word enough for you?