I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:11-12 NIV)
Paul preached salvation by grace, not works. He reached out to Gentiles and Jews alike and drew them to the cleansing blood of Jesus. Those who wished to make Old Testament ceremonial rules binding on Christians were ignoring the significance of the cross. They were also promoting man-made rules that had been heaped on God’s original directives.
But Paul’s words were a reflection of his experience with Jesus in a vision on the road to Damascus. His motivation was pure. He merely wanted people to know the Savior, and discover His peace.
This morning’s passage reminds me of a song written by Rich Mullins many years ago. It was based on the Apostle’s Creed, a centuries old statement of faith outlining the New Testament gospel. As a matter of clarification, the word “catholic” in the creed doesn’t refer to a specific religious body, but simply to the universal church. Here is the creed:
The Apostle’s Creed
1. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
2. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:
3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:
4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:
5. The third day he rose again from the dead:
6. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:
7. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:
8. I believe in the Holy Ghost:
9. I believe in the holy catholic church: the communion of saints:
10. The forgiveness of sins:
11. The resurrection of the body:
12. And the life everlasting. Amen.
Here is a refrain added by Rich in his song, based on this morning’s passage:
“And I believe what I believe is what makes me what I am. I did not make it no it is making me It is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man”
And here is a YouTube video of Rich:
It is the very truth of God!
Dear God, thank You for revealing Your truth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.