I want to make it clear early enough that this is not an academic study on the life of the Apostle Paul, nor do I presume to add on what has already been written about Paul by the many outstanding men of God whom I consider vastly more capable than I. I humbly submit that I am not an authority in these matters, therefore I could be making mistakes. The reason I will be talking about Paul is simply because, since I write on many seemingly different topics, I just want to set the foundation or basis for the things I write. What I am going to write about the Apostle Paul in this and the following few posts should be considered by my eminent readership as the foundation of everything I write on my blog firstname.lastname@example.org. Without the Pauline doctrine that I am about to discuss here this blog would not exist. It is the raison d’être, it is the cause I back, it is my whole life.
I will begin my survey of the Apostle Paul by stating that probably the single most powerful statement that Paul had to make about his doctrine is found in the Book of Galatians chapter 1 verses 12-13: “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
The Apostle Paul here makes clear the powerful and unequivocally spiritual nature of the gospel he preached. He was not taught it in a seminary or Bible school. It was not a study, or a discussion or anything that could be grasped by any means of human discourse. It was not a product of human intelligence. It was not homiletics. It was not even Bible study. It was none of these things. In fact, it was nothing other than a spiritual revelation of the Lord Jesus Himself, and it was an experience that could only happen in a man’s heart. It was what Jesus Himself had spoken to the Jews: “The Kingdom of God is within you”, meaning in their hearts.
The revelation that Paul speaks about was the Lord Jesus Himself and the power that resurrected Him from the dead, coming to reside in a man’s life. It could not therefore be an education, just like you cannot teach someone how to get saved. Unless a person is born again of the Spirit of God, he can know the entire Bible by heart, and he could recite the sinner’s prayer and he could make every ‘spiritual’ motion there is to make, but none of these will get him saved.
The revelation that Paul received was not even a vision or a dream. Paul had many of these, but this is not what he is talking about here. The revelation that he received was an experience of far greater magnitude and significance. In a nutshell, it was Christ Himself coming to dwell in a man’s heart in His fullness. Far from it being a powerless ‘education’, this revelation was literally a birth, a spiritual birth. And this birth brought the Life that had the power to change a man from being carnal to being spiritual. Let us pause for a moment and reflect upon the fact that do we not find the need in our own lives today to have a true change in our character where we are walking in the exact image of Christ? The gospel that Paul received, that revelation, is the answer to our dilemma.