One of the things all Christians need to do is to examine themselves and try to understand who it is they are listening to and learning from because the gospel truth is not from men, but from God.
There is only one truth of the New Covenant, just as there is only one God and Father, One Christ who is the Son of God and Saviour of all mankind. But in this world we do not see this same oneness of mind, spirit and purpose. This is especially true in the church today, for the church is widely splintered in a multitude of sects, denominations and groups, all of whom claim to be Christians, but who frequently disagree on what is the fundamental truth of the New Covenant.
That is why it is important to examine yourself and determine from whom you are learning. Is the quality of the doctrine and teachings that you accept and believe really the truth, or is it a concoction of teachings, some of which are true and some of which are not, for the purpose of bringing you under the dominion and bondage of men rather than into the freedom of Jesus Christ.
Gospel Truth is Not From Men
Note well the words of Paul in these verses as he writes to the Galatians church. He explains to them from whom he received the gospel of salvation that is in Jesus Christ alone.
Paul made the point that immediately after his conversion experience, he did not go and seek out other Christians to learn the gospel of truth. In verses 11 and 12 he makes this point quite clearly saying:
11 For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not man’s gospel. 12 For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:11-12)
Paul states that he did not receive the gospel from men, but through a “…revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Paul was quite learned in the scriptures of the old testament for he was trained as a Pharisee at the feet of Gamaliel, who was highly thought of and recognised as a man of wisdom in those times. Paul knew what the scriptures said, and when the Lord chose to reveal Himself to Paul on the Damascus road, Paul’s life was turned upside down.
You would expect someone who had been through this experience would seek out those who had gone before himself to learn from them. But this was not what he did. Instead he went to Damascus and the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit.
This is the work of the Holy Spirit, both then and today. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to teach and educate all the people of God in the ways of God and in the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. We see this in John 14:26, saying:
”But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
This is exactly what was happening to Paul. He received the gift of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands from Ananias, as we are told in Acts 9:17-18. And it was the Holy Spirit who opened up the scriptures to Paul and taught him the truth of the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. The work of the Holy Spirit is to “teach” and to “bring to remembrance” all that we have been taught. Paul was able to receive this for he had already been well-versed in the scriptures, and the Holy Spirit then brought the scriptures to mind and gave him the fullness of understanding of what they said.
To put it bluntly, the gospel of truth is not from men. It is taught to us directly from God through the Holy Spirit. Man can guide, but the Holy Spirit gives the understanding.
Who Are You Learning From?
Which brings me back to the point for us today. Who are you learning from? Are you listening to men and blindly accepting what they are saying, or are you learning from God as Paul did?
There are many voices in the church. Some of them preach good news and others seem to be in it for what they can get out of it.
And this is to be expected because Jesus warned us that there would be wolves clothed as sheep. He told us there would be those who came into the church to destroy and to feed their own passions and desires rather than the good of the Lord. There are those who use the church as a means of gaining wealth and power and renown and status and more.
And then there are the humble servants of the Lord who are seeking His salvation and seeking to help build up the church and the people of the Lord.
So it is to be expected that there will be a mish-mash of good and bad teachings circulating in the churches.
But we have to sift the truth from error and to sort out who are the sheep and who are the wolves. We need to identify and reject the false prophets and false teachers in the church today and to accept the teachings of the Lord as opened up to us by the Holy Spirit. To quote the words of Mission Impossible, this is “Your challenge, should you choose to accept it.”
And it is a challenge we all really must accept if we want to enter into the kingdom of God. No-one will enter God’s kingdom if their beliefs are built on a foundation of lies and half-truths. Neither will they enter through neglect and trying to rely on someone else, be it a pastor, priest, minister or church.
We will all stand before the judgement seat of God to give an account of ourselves to Him. There will be no-one to run interference, there will be no one to represent us, there will be no team of lawyers at the judgement seat of God. It will be just you or I standing as individuals before the One who knows all things and there will be no place to hide. (Yeah…I know. Heavy stuff!)
That is why we must prepare now. We must seek the truth now. We must receive the Holy Spirit now and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ so that we can be set free from sin, set free from law and receive the free gift of righteousness so that God will be prepared to help us learn to walk uprightly and be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ by the working of the Holy Spirit.
”Seek, and you will find” was the promise of the Lord in Matthew 7. Now is the time to seek it from the Lord. Ask Him to open your eyes and bring you to the guide who will show you the way so that the Holy Spirit can reveal the truth to you. And remember always, the gospel truth is not from men. It is from God.
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