11For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. 12 For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
Paul states in 1:11-12 that the Gospel he preached was not a Gospel that he received from men. This is something that many people who believe they have a message from God also say. The world is full of people maintaining that God has a message for the world and they are His spokesmen. Psychiatric wards also have many in them who receive regular revelations from God for the world. Why should we believe Paul’s claim any more than these others?
1)The most basic answer is the Gospel of Grace. Paul was declaring a Gospel that is unlike any other that has ever been preached. Salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ. You will find that nowhere else in any so called prophet or apostle who claims to have a revelation from God.
2) Paul is addressing people who have been saved from sin. They know the power of the Gospel and are being threatened to give it up for something that is much less.
3) 1:13-14 – Paul had been a persecutor of the church and changed to become one who is persecuted. There was a genuine change of heart.
4) 1:17 – He did not make a big deal of himself when he was first converted. It was not Paul’s original desire to make a big noise. He retreated for a lengthy period and grew.
5) 1:18-20 – He submitted himself to the testing of the Apostles in Jerusalem. Paul was no loner insisting on getting his own way. He visited the Apostle Peter as a brother in the preaching of the Gospel.
6) 1:22-24 – The very people who Paul used to persecute now rejoice in him. Paul is no isolationist with no regard for the opinions of others. He was approved, taught, and received as one who taught the truth and who guarded against heresies. None of the false teachers of the day could have withstood such scrutiny.
When you read that Paul defended himself by saying that he got his message from God, don’t lump him in with the thousands of others who make great claims. Paul’s is not the same.
The revelation of God to people today is the Word of God. You will never get a message that deviates from it. It is able to equip us for every good work. We need nothing more.