Key Verse: Galatians 1:11 “But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.”
The new Archbishop of Canterbury is a remarkably refreshing man who believes in “the physical resurrection of Christ” and calls the 1990’s the “decade of evangelism”. I called his office just after his election to see if I could arrange an interview and was told, “The Bishop has decided he will give no interviews to the media until after he actually becomes Archbishop. People were treating him as if he were already in office, and that would have been discomforting to the present Archbishop.” It seemed this new man was highly regarded.
If the Apostle Paul were alive today, he’d probably wrestle a bit with envy. Rather than bask in high regard, he was constantly under attack from would-be apostles and false teachers. His credibility was forever being questioned and he was forced to defend himself and his ministry again and again.
So, as he begins the letter to the Galatians, he’s at it again: “Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised him from the dead),…” He’s stressing the exclusive nature of his calling as contrasted to other teachers who were “perverting the gospel of Christ” (v.8). These men were obviously making headway with the Galatians (v.6, 7a), so much so that Paul its prepared to consign them to eternal damnation (v.9).
He sees in these false teachers a false gospel that is merely a man-made fabrication. And he’s angry that they are having such success with his congregations. So Paul speaks out forcefully. He reminds them that the gospel he preached to them was not the product of fabrication but of revelation. It is superior to anything else, and its source is none other than Jesus Christ Himself (v.12). The revealed Word of God must always take priority over the constructed word of man.