Wednesday 20 March 2019

Bible Book:

] through a revelation of Jesus Christ. (v.12)

Galatians 1:6-12 Wednesday 20 March 2019

Psalm: Psalm 101


Something has gone horribly wrong in the churches in Galatia. Paul is astonished that his converts have so quickly buckled under the influence of some visitors who have commended a different gospel from the one Paul preached. But there cannot in principle be any development or variation of the one and only true gospel that Paul proclaimed! Paul must not change anything. Not even an angel could! Every alternative is a perversion. And people who peddle anything different come under a curse!

A strong reaction. It seems a bit puzzling to us readers because at this stage Paul has not said what the difference is that has captivated the attention of his churches.

What Paul must do to retrieve the situation is to hammer home why he claims to preach the one and only true gospel that there can ever be; and also assert his own integrity:
1 Paul’s gospel is not a cultural artefact (not of ‘human origin’). Paul did not receive it from anyone else; he didn’t learn it in a classroom. It was revealed to Paul directly by the living Jesus Christ (just like his commissioning as an apostle, in 1:1). It is of divine origin. It expresses the true mind of God. (Paul is yet to remind his readers of when and how he received this revelation.)
2 Paul’s integrity resides in his unqualified devotion to Jesus Christ. Paul is the slave of Jesus Christ. He therefore has no interest at all, when proclaiming the gospel or writing to his churches, in developing a fan club, or even to win God’s approval. Paul has no option but faithfully to speak what God in Jesus Christ has commanded him to preach.


To Ponder:

  • In your local church, how are members helped to put into words the gospel they believe in? How do you deal in practice with differences of emphasis or content between one another?
  • What gives you confidence in those who preach in your church Sunday by Sunday? Do you have any role to play in holding them to account?
Previous Page Tuesday 19 March 2019
Next Page Thursday 21 March 2019