“Paul an apostle—sent neither by human commission nor from human authorities, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— and all the members of God’s family who are with me,
To the churches of Galatia:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Galatians 1:1-5)
A very nice opening. The writer of Galatians (okay, Paul) knows how to start a letter and how to bestow a blessing on his reader. I always take these kind of blessings from Paul as being addressed to me as well as any other reader. What ever else Paul did, he was not stingy or shy about blessing others.
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, so now I repeat, if anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that one be accursed!” (Verses 6 – 9)
Of course, Paul can also do a very good “scolding” and scolded indeed were the Galatians. Paul knew he preached the correct gospel and good news of Christ. May be his advice of how to live properly and well is not in line with mine, but grace and mercy, confession and forgiveness, care and compassion, and all the other tenets of the Christian life that Paul wrote of are the correct way.
“Am I now seeking human approval, or God’s approval? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a servant of Christ. For I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin; for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Verses 10-12)
It is hard to know, beloved reader, what is a genuine revelation from Jesus Christ and what is a “ “contrary gospel.” In order to know what is genuine you have to be directed by the Holy Spirit; and in order to be directed by the Holy Spirit you have to know what is a genuine revelation from that Holy Spirit. It is a catch twenty-two. I have no good or valid advice beloved reader as to how to know.
All I can do is encourage you to pray to God that you might be lead to proper knowledge. Look to the lives of those who have gone before you, to your spiritual forebearers. Yes, Paul is one of them. The writers of the gospel are faithful in reflecting the essence of Christ, although each of them has a perspective they write from. And if I may, beloved reader, you can trust me. I do not claim to be a great authority, but I assure you that I am faithful and genuine. Whatever ministry I have at this point in my life is one that I have been called to by God. So, maybe I do have something in common with Paul! Who would have thought! Shalom!