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Paul's Credentials

Galatians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Intro:
AG:
Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.” - Emerson
So wrote Emerson, and many a thinker agrees with him.
The English art critic John Ruskin said, “I fear uniformity. You cannot manufacture great men any more than you can manufacture gold.”
The German philosopher Schopenhauer wrote, “We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people.”
(Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 686). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.)
Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 686). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
TS: In a world of conformity, it is good to meet a man like Paul who dared to be himself in the will of God. But his freedom in Christ was a threat to those who found safety in conformity.
Paul’s enemies pointed to his nonconformity as proof that his message and ministry were not really of God. “He claims to be an apostle,” they argued, “but he does not stand in the apostolic tradition.” It is this misrepresentation that Paul answers in this section of Galatians. His nonconformity was divinely deliberate. God had chosen to reveal Himself in a different way to Paul.
(Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 686). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.)
Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 686). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Paul unequivocally declares that his call, his gospel, and his ministry were of divine origin and that he answered to God alone.
RS:

1. Paul’s Apostleship By God’s Call

Galatians 1:1 NKJV
Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead),
Galations 1:1
Apostle- one sent
Paul is saying He was sent by Jesus Christ and The Father, not by men.
Galatians 1. The Author (Verses 1, 2a)

Among the rabbis it was a common saying that “one sent by a man is as the man himself.”

He made it clear that he was on mission for God alone and not any earthly power
Evidently, this issue was challenged and he was putting it to rest here, and in the following verses.
Paul’s authority came straight from Jesus
When retelling the gospel to the church in Corinth, Paul was listing those who had seen the risen Lord. Of himself, he said:
1 Corinthians 15:8–9 NKJV
Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
Jesus had sent Paul on a mission:
What was that mission?
Acts 9:15 NKJV
But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.

2. Paul’s Gospel was not from Men

Galatians 1:11–17 NKJV
But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
Galatians 1:11–17 NKJV
But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

His gospel message was of divine origin.

Galatians 1:11-

Paul expressly says his gospel message (which he had just defended in the previous verses) was of divine origin.

(which he had just defended in the previous verses)
It was not from a man
His gospel was God’s good news not a man made system
If it had been from man, the Judiazers wouldn’t have minded
Man made religion is permeated with a works based righteousness
That is why He was so adamant they not stray from it!
They would leave the truth for a lie
It was not taught to him by a man
Paul didn’t go through EE, 4 spritual laws, The Roman Road class or any other class to learn the gospel and how to present it.
This was in stark contrast to the Jews
they studied human interpretations from Rabis rather than the Scriptures
It came through the revelation of Jesus Christ!
Jesus called Paul on the road to Damascus
13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. 14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
Jesus trained Paul in the good news
15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, 16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
Paul’s gospel was by divine revelation
Again, this is why he didn’t want them to stray from it
In essence: walking away from the gospel Paul had proclaimed and they had believed, was the same as ignoring the Bible, God’s revelation!
This speaks to the the message Paul proclaimed
This was no human movement and message
His was a divine message given by the Savior Himself

His Past illustrated this

From persecutor to preacher
He had given up a nice Jewish career for the gospel

He had been set aside by God from his mothers womb.

God knew all about and had a purpose for Paul’s life even before he was born

3. Paul’s Ministry

Galatians 1:18–24 NKJV
Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.) Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ. But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God in me.
Galatians 1:18-24
Galatians 1:18–23 NKJV
Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.) Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ. But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.”
Paul had begun preaching Jesus, expanding on Him being the Christ, from the moment he was saved and had his sight returned
He ministered for 3 years before ever going to Jerusalem
Why is this significant?
He had been serving the Lord for 3 years before ever consulting the apostles in Jerusalem!
Clearly, his ministry was from God, not men!
He continued his ministry in Syria and Cilicia
He didn’t get approval of Judean churches!
He didn’t answer to them!
BUT! they glorified God for the conversion and transformation of Paul
This too verifies Paul’s credentials as an apostle.
Galatians 1:
18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter,[a] and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. 20 (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.)
21 Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ. 23 But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which

Conclusion:

Paul defended his apostleship, his gospel, and his ministry by showing they came from God Himself, and not from any earthly origin or movement.
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