After Paul had left Galatia, other evangelists arrived. They discredited Paul and proclaimed a false gospel. Now Paul defends his apostleship. [UPDATED]
VERSE 1. Paul, an apostle—not from men, nor through man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—
not from men. Where did Paul’s apostleship come from? It was not because somebody ordained him.
In our day, many ministry leaders are “made” by means of ordination. But Paul was not “ordained.”
Upon ordaination by a denomination, you become a “suit.” You are an official minister, and represent the denomination in every setting. You are obliged to defend the denomination, even when it is wrong.
Paul had no such obligation to anybody.
nor through man. Paul’s apostleship was not because somebody “endorsed” him.
In our day, some ministry leaders are “endorsed.” An official of the organization says, “Yes, you are now one of our representatives.” It is like getting hired. That was not the case with Paul.
Upon being endorsed by an organization, you become a “suit.” The organization must be defended, even when it is wrong.
Paul had no such obligation to anybody.
through Jesus Christ, and God the Father. Paul’s apostleship was directly from God.
In our day, some people claim that God has called them to be ministry leaders. They were not ordained, and not hired. They are autonomous from any organization.
Galatians 2:20. I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me. That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.
VERSE 4. who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us out of this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father—
gave himself for our sins. Jesus Christ died for sins. But the believers had converted to a different gospel where they had to earn their own forgiveness.
VERSE 7. but there isn’t another “good news.” Only there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the Good News of Christ.
there isn’t another “good news.” This is the essence of this epistle. The believers in Galatia had abandoned the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Instead, they embraced a “different” gospel, one based on the doing of religious works and the earning of eternal salvation.
The believers in Galatia learned about this “different” gospel because after Paul left town, a group of “different” evangelists showed up, talked them into it, and got them to switch.
VERSE 8. But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you any “good news” other than that which we preached to you, let him be cursed.
let him be cursed. Paul could not be more direct.
cursed. The Greek word is ἀνάθεμα (“anathema”). This begins a long-standing custom of church leaders condemning somebody by using the word “anathema.”
VERSE 10. For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? For if I were still pleasing men, I wouldn’t be a servant of Christ.
pleasing men. Paul absolutely was not a “man-pleaser.” He did not care if people approved of him or not.
VERSE 12. For I didn’t receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came to me through revelation of Jesus Christ.
it came to me through revelation. Paul was not a suit. He represented no denomination or organization. He did not embrace any particular theological construct.
VERSE 15. But when it was the good pleasure of God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through his grace
separated me. God set Paul apart so that he could proclaim the Lord Jesus Christ to the Gentiles. His calling was no less important than that of the Twelve.
VERSE 18. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Peter, and stayed with him fifteen days.
after three years. Right after his conversion, Paul did not look for approval from the other apostles. He was not under their authority, and did not answer to them.
Rather, Paul launched out and evangelized the known world. Finally, after three years, he visited Peter.
other apostles I saw no one. Paul did not go out of his way to visit any other apostles. He did not care what they thought of him. He did not try to earn their approval.
except James. This reads as if it happened by accident, and not as a planned event. Perhaps Peter was accompanied by James.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.