Paul’s self – Defense as an apostle of Jesus Christ
“I want you to know, brothers that the Gospel I preached is that something that man made up. I did not receive it from nay man or was I taught, rather I received it by the revelation from Jesus Christ“(11-12)
Paul launches his letter to Galatians by identifies himself as an apostle, one commissioned and sent out by the risen Christ to proclaim the gospel, the message of Christ person, word and work. The question of Paul’s authority and truth of his gospel is central to the issue with which the Galatians churches are struggling as a result of his opponents teaching of ‘another gospel.
The church throughout the ages has been tempted to dilute or prevent the message of the gospel, which resulted in formation of multitude of ‘churches’ many with another gospel teaching and preaching. The message of Galatians is that there is only one gospel that we as God’s people are responsible both to proclaim and live out the ethical implications of that gospel as a clarion call to a lost world that remains subject to the wrath of God.
Paul in his letter establishes a firm and vivid self defense of his position that how the gospel he preached was received and its authenticity over other falsely claimed gospels which represent God and misguide the early church. Paul accomplished this by referring to a number of incidents demonstrate from his past. These incidents shows he was not in position have received the gospel from any person or persons, but indeed did receive it from his savior Jesus Christ. This is why Paul’s letters are to be trusted and believed. The message that he preaches is not his own message nor is it merely the result of strategic thinking about God and salvation plan.
Knowing the danger of identity fraud will help us to think twice before giving personal information in current age that could invade and destroy our image and reputations. Same way we have to be very vigilant in responding to post modern prosperity and other false gospels which may be fascinating at the beginning but eventually compromise individual salvation plan formulated by God.
Prayer: Father in heaven forgive us in falling back on the merits of our own names and accomplishments in witnessing and promoting your true gospel . Please help us to show by our attitude and values that we have found life not in ourselves but in Your Son- Amen
Thought for the Day: “Wisdom from above is first pure “James 3:17
Oommen K. Varghese , Epiphany MTC - New York