Zero Contribution

“But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me: God show no partiality) — well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me.” (Gal. 2:6)

Paul had received his good news information directly from the Holy Spirit after Paul’s encounter with Jesus on the Damascus road. Likely this happened during his stay in the desert. When he finally made it to Jerusalem he wanted to consult with the other apostles. It seems unlikely that he was there to make sure that he had the true story but rather he may have wanted them to know that he had the right story and was preaching the true gospel.

When we start learning the gospel or teaching the gospel we should make sure that it is the true one. How do we do that? We read what Paul says about the good news.  Paul has, of course, made the point to the Galatians that he did not receive his version of the gospel from men. This included the leaders of the church in Jerusalem. Now Paul wants to emphasize that by saying that the leaders in Jerusalem could not and did not add anything new to the gospel information he had already received and taught. This is why he could say that any man or angel who taught something other than what he had taught was worthy of being cast out. Any other teaching and teacher should be ignored.

Paul makes it plain that false teachers of the good news are to be accursed. He sees them as being cursed by God as God did all false prophets. This is not only a severe warning to the brethren in Galatia who listened to false teaching but also to those who fail to teach the true gospel. Is it not a warning to us in the present day?

Preachers and teachers are useful as guides and aides in understanding the texts of the Bible but they are not substitutes for the text itself. Every teaching given by man to other men must be compared and evaluated against the written word.

Task for Today: If you are a preacher or teacher of the good news be sure you compare every statement you make with what the word says. When you launch into opinion make sure you specify that it is opinion and not the word of the Lord. If you are a listener or a student make sure you assume responsibility for the validity of what is said. Understand that the letter to the Galatians is not made up information. It is real and there are false teachers today whether purposeful or accidental

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