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Thursday, August 1, 2019

2019.08.01 Hopewell @Home ▫ Galatians 1:11-17

Questions for Littles: What point is the apostle making about the gospel that he preached in Galatians 1:11? From whom did he not receive it (Galatians 1:12)? How else did he not receive it? How did it come? What does he assume they have heard of in Galatians 1:13? What had the apostle done? How much had he persecuted the church? What had he tried to do? In what had he advanced (Galatians 1:14)? Farther than whom? How did he do this? How was the timing of his conversion determined (Galatians 1:15)? When had the apostle been separated? Through what did God call the apostle? What was the apostle called to reveal (Galatians 1:16)? How would this revelation occur? What did the apostle not immediately do? Where did he not go (Galatians 1:17)? Where did he go?
We know that Paul had received information about Christ from Stephen in Acts 7, but the apostle here is pressing upon us the fact that the Gospel itself—the significance of who Christ is, the reason for and significance of what Christ did, the means by which a sinner comes to be saved… this was something that came from no man but directly from Jesus Christ Himself, because ultimately what is received in the gospel is not information but a Person.

What we see in our Galatians passage this week is that the communication of the gospel is not so much the communication of information but the display of an individual.

How did Paul get the gospel that he preached? “Through the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:12). For what purpose did God call Paul through His grace? “To reveal His Son in me” (Galatians 1:16a). What was it that Paul preached among the nations (Gentiles)? It’s a what question with a Whom answer: “that I might preach Him.”

This reminds us again of the seriousness of holding purely to the mechanism of salvation in the gospel. If we turn away from it, by adding anything at all alongside it, we are turning away from a Person (Galatians 1:6).

Ultimately, each of us must receive the gospel in the same way—even though the Lord uses others. He used the apostles, prophets, and evangelists to give us the Bible. But it is still His very breathed out words (2 Timothy 3:16). He uses preachers to announce the gospel to us, but it is still Him whom we hear and believe (Romans 10:14-17, literally translated). He uses preachers in the Sabbath assembly to announce His will and shepherd us unto glory, but it is He who speaks from heaven (Hebrews 3:7-4:10Hebrews 12:22-29).

What Jesus made clear by using no man at all to deliver the true, pure Gospel to the apostle Paul is still true even when He does use men: His Word comes to us as personally from Him, and we are to be receiving Him Himself in them and responding to Him Himself.
When are you taught the Bible by others? Who is really addressing you then?
Suggested songs: ARP119W “Lord, Let My Cry before You Come” or TPH172 “Speak, O Lord”

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