“Let me tell you, my brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preach is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any human being, nor did anyone teach it to me. It was Jesus Christ himself who revealed it to me”.
Gal 1:11, 12 GNB
When the telephone rings you want to know who is trying to speak to you. If it’s a friend or a loved one you welcome the message. If it’s a telesales “consultant” your heart drops and you start thinking, “How can I get rid of this nuisance?” Who the message is from is crucial. It determines whether you receive it or not.
Under criticism from his accusers in the churches of Galatia Paul assures them that what he has told them was a message from God. He didn’t “cook it up” or “suck it out of his thumb”. Nor was it a concoction of any other human being. It came straight from the heart of God. Jesus was God coming in the flesh and Paul’s story about Jesus was God’s message to the Galatians – and to all others who heard it. The coming of Christ was an act of God and Paul’s sole purpose in telling of this was to bring God’s action in Christ to their attention. God in Christ had given the message directly to him.
Someone once described preaching as “truth through personality”. It is the preacher’s task to ensure that it is more truth – God’s truth – than personality that gets through to the hearers. Struggling believers want to hear a word from God, not the preacher’s ideas, fads and fancies, likes and dislikes. And you take God’s message wherever you go by the life you live and the words you say.
Lord, let your messengers always bring your gospel.