The Berean Expositor
Volume 50 - Page 78 of 185
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Thus it was that, defying all conventions, he plunges straight away into the
all-important question of his apostleship. His aim was not to magnify himself, but his
office (Rom. 11: 13), which had been given him by the risen Christ:
"Paul, an apostle (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father,
Who raised Him from the dead) and all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches
of Galatia" (Gal. 1: 1, 2).
The Greek word apostolos means "one sent by and in the name of another", thus
exhibiting the truth of Christ's words "he that receiveth you receiveth Me" (Matt. 10: 40).
While his commission differed from the Twelve in a number of respects, yet its origin
was the same, namely from the Lord Jesus Christ, and it was the first apostleship
conferred from heaven. This God-given apostleship so vital to the truth he preached is
bought forward in several of his epistles. In Rom. 1: 5 he writes "Christ by Whom we
have received grace and apostleship", he states in Rom. 11: 13 "I am an apostle of the
Gentiles, I magnify mine office". He throws out a challenge in I Cor. 9: 1 "Am I not an
Apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?". In I Tim. 2: 7 he
says, "I am ordained a preacher, an apostle (I speak the truth in Christ and lie not), a
teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth".
There had been no problems about Paul's apostleship from the Galatian churches, for
at the first they had received him "as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus" (Gal. 4: 14).
But the old enemy was doing his deadly work of sowing doubt and distrust among them
by the old tactic of undermining the messenger, so spoiling his message. So straight
away he asserts his independence from the Twelve, and in fact from any human source.
He had a divine commission and as such it was not receive from men, neither was its
origin through man (literally that is any human being), but it was "by Jesus Christ and
God the Father". This took place on the Damascus road as recorded in Acts 9: 22 & 26
and is expanded in Gal. 1: 15, 16.
He continues by sending grace and peace from the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
"Who gave Himself for us, that He might deliver us from this present evil world (age),
according to the will of God and our Father to Whom be glory for ever and ever"
(Galatians 1: 4, 5).
The Father gave the Son (John 3: 16) and the Son gave Himself, thus comprising the
greatest of all gifts, for it embraces everything. "The Son of God Who loved me and
gave Himself for me", Paul wrote (Gal. 2: 20). "Thanks be to God for His unspeakable
Gift" (II Cor. 9: 15).