Have you heard about the guy who said that he was sure that he was sure that he thought he was right? That is not what Paul was saying in our scripture verse for today. He was coming against the false teaching that was leading some believers away from the faith. In verse 7 he said, You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ. Paul’s mindset was at the place of, when you know that you know who Jesus is, you don’t turn from it.
Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you. Galatians 1:8
He was saying that he was very sure about the Gospel of Jesus. Even if he decided to teach something else, he should be cursed. He goes as far as to say if any being human or angel changes the message, don’t listen to them.
In verse 9 he repeats what he had just said in verse 8. He said I say again what we have said before. Then he goes on to say if anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed.
Then in verse 10, he says something like this. (My paraphrase) I’m not trying to win any popularity contests here. He goes on to say if pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.
How can Paul be so sure of himself? Keep in mind he was wrong before. His confession about it is later in this chapter. He put people in jail for teaching about Jesus. He traveled far and wide to pursue them.
The Time When Paul Didn’t Know
In verse 13, he was very candid about his former actions.
You know what I was like when I followed the Jewish religion—how I violently persecuted God’s church. I did my best to destroy it. Galatians 1:13
So why was he right this time? He tells us why he can be so sure of this message in verse 12.
I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ. Galatians 1:12
The bottom line here is, Paul’s teaching came from a personal encounter with Jesus.
We can have just as much confidence in the gospel message that we live by. It’s also the message that we have been called to share as well. But our confidence won’t come without a personal encounter with Jesus.
Will our experience be just like Paul’s? Hmm, probably not! Verse 17 tells us,
I went away into Arabia, and later I returned to the city of Damascus. Then three years later … Galatians 1:17
You might call this time in Paul’s life either Bible School or Seminary. Paul was the only student and Jesus was the professor.
Your Personal Encounter
We can, however, have a personal encounter with Jesus that is just as powerful. The Lord will reveal Himself to us by His Holy Spirit through His Word. He has also provided us with the church and the fellowship of the believers. It is then that you will know that you know who Jesus is.
Our experience with the Lord will give us just as much confidence to live a Christian life. Which in turn will help us to share that message with others. And when we share we will know that we know what we are talking about.
Lord, we yearn for a personal encounter with you daily. Thank you for continually increasing our faith.
A related post that you might want to check out is How to Stay Motivated to Read and Investigate God’s Word. Another related post you read is Jesus Really Does Want To Be Your Friend.
You can read the entire chapter of Galatians 1 here
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