“For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Gal. 1:12)
Think of the way we normally receive most of our important information. First, we might have gotten it from our parents or siblings. Maybe a grandparent or other close relative let us in on some important wisdom or understanding. Second, we might have learned it in some form of education. That could consist of formal or informal education. The informal education includes the school of hard knocks and other unexpected forms of knowledge. This is how knowledge comes to us.
Paul claims to have received his knowledge of the gospel from a non-human source. He is certain who the non-human source is. It is Jesus and the knowledge was gained through inspiration. How does Jesus do that? We don’t know. Paul is not the only one to receive the word from the Word. Beginning with Adam the Holy One has communicated with mankind. He has done that in a variety ways which included revelation or inspiration.
Paul brings this up to contrast the sources of the gospel. The Galatians were being led astray by a false gospel. A gospel that did not originate from Jesus by inspiration or revelation. It came from men. They had learned this new gospel from humans like themselves. It was not the same as that given by Jesus to the Apostles, which included Paul. The Galatians had fed false information and believed it. They were willing to chance their salvation on man taught doctrine.
Unfortunately we modern disciples have not learned their lesson. False gospels abound in the religious world today in spite of the fact that the revealed Word is available. Mankind has access to the inspired word of the Holy One and can compare the gospel of men with the gospel of Jesus Christ. So why is there so much disagreement as to the “correct” gospel? Why so many teachings about how Jesus saves and what He saves us to?
Can it be that people are deceived by mere men? Paul warned about it, “Let no one in any way deceive you…”(2 Thess. 2:3) Paul also told Timothy that in later times some would fall away because they paid attention to deceitful spirits and the hypocrisy of liars. He also told Timothy, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires.” (2 Tim. 4:3) Paul had already witnessed that with the churches in Galatia.
Those people could not check the gospel preaching like we can today. Perhaps they would have if they could and Paul’s comments to them would have been unnecessary. We are without excuse. Copies of the New Testament are everywhere and a very high percentage of the modern world can read. Do you examine the scriptures after or during the sermon? Do you read what the Bible Class teacher is teaching for yourself? Do you believe you are hearing the truth because you trust the teacher or because you studied the truth of the Word yourself?
Task for Today: You must avoid being like the Galatians. You cannot afford to be deceived by liars and false teachers. Don’t trust any man with your soul. Study to learn the truth for yourself. Suppose someone said to you, “Just believe that Jesus is the Son of God and you will be saved.” Would you believe that was all that was involved? Many have, but what did Jesus say? “He that believes AND is baptized shall be saved.” Now, be honest. Who in this situation should you believe?