Sunday, August 4, 2013
The Divine Origin of the Gospel Part 2
Galatians 1:11 -17; 18 – 24
Read 1:11 – 24
Paul’s gospel is the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is from God, not man. Paul was not pandering to people in his ministry. He did not derive his gospel from the apostles, for the only apostles he saw were Peter and James, and he only spent a limited amount of time with them. Nor did he spend much time in Judea, for most of the churches there did not know him personally but only heard about his conversion and ministry.
Note: Paul did not go to Jerusalem to be taught by the other Apostles. He had already been preaching the gospel for nearly three years. His desire to meet Peter was for the purpose of discussion about his mission to the Gentiles. Peter and James validated Paul’s ministry.
– Both Peter and Paul must have learned from each other. I would love to have been a listener to that conversation.
What relevance does this chapter have for each of us as believers in Christ today?
a. One thing this chapter intends to convey is a strong sense of confidence in the gospel message proclaimed by Paul. The gospel was historically and clearly delivered to God’s holy apostles and prophets. We can trust the gospel as contained in our bibles (see also – 1 John 1:1 – 4).
b. This chapter ought to remind us that the pure gospel of Jesus Christ has enemies. These enemies may come from within the community of believers who confess Jesus as the Christ. These enemies will even say that they believe the gospel. The problem is this: their gospel will always add something that we human beings must do in order to be saved. God’s sovereign grace will never be enough in such a system. Somehow the Law of Moses will find its way into the gospel message as a means to either gain God’s love and favor, or after having believed, maintain it. A curse abides on any religious system that adds to the revealed gospel of God’s freely bestowed grace that is found in our union with Jesus Christ our Lord.
– As we continue our journey through Galatians, we will see that Paul teaches both salvation and sanctification by grace alone in the power of the Holy Spirit.
– Concluding thoughts on chapter one from the John Brown of Haddington Bible:
“REFLECTIONS. – With entire satisfaction may we receive the gospel delivered by the apostles, since they received it immediately from Christ. And delightfully, jointly, and equally all church authority and spiritual blessings proceed from him and his Father. Infinitely important and beneficial is his death for us; and his resurrection clearly manifests the acceptableness and efficacy of it. And what deliverance from sin, Satan, and an evil world, and what grace and peace, may we not pray and hope for through it? It is detestable and dangerous to apostatize from or pervert the gospel of Christ. And it is no wonder that the doctrine of men’s justification by their own works never reforms the world, but increases unto more ungodliness, when it has the curse of God lying on it and its preachers. Ministers have need to be faithful in declaring the truths of God without regard to any carnal consideration. And no man nor minister can at once please Christ and the world – serve God and mammon. Astonishing are the effects of God’s grace on the hearts of sinners. Gloriously it enlightens the ignorant, attracts the perverse, subdues the obstinately furious, and renders Jesus’ inveterate enemies his loving friends and faithful servants. And it is a great comfort distinctly to perceive and feel its operations, and for Christians to hear of its going forth conquering and to conquer.”