God's Message Through God's Apostle
The Bible is the Word of God. However, some people, who are willing to believe the teaching of Jesus, refuse to accept Paul’s writing as being truth from God. Paul was used to that misunderstanding. People who did not like what God said through him, he said would ridicule him and despise his teaching. So, in this letter to Christians in what is now western Turkey, Paul described the source of his apostolic authority – it came directly from Jesus Christ, the Son of God and God the Father.
At the same time, Paul wanted to make clear that Jesus, who was at the centre of his preaching, was physically raised from the dead by God’s mighty power. His message was not a human philosophy derived from other people, or a personal life which he had invented. What he preached and wrote was directly inspired by God. Paul had been personally commanded to deliver his messages by Christ, who confronted him on the road to Damascus (Acts 26:12-18 , Galatians 1:11-20).
The Apostles were all appointed by Jesus and had met Him after His resurrection. They were witnesses to the power of God in raising the dead. Paul’s encounter was dramatic, and his apostolic training was unique and personal. Yet when he met with Peter and James three years later (Galatians 1:18), his understanding of the gospel was identical to theirs! In part, it was God’s way of validating Paul’s ministry. God is still speaking through Paul’s writings because He inspired His Apostle. So Paul’s words are God’s words to us, and we cannot ignore them without distorting the Word of God.
© Dr Paul Adams