Galatians 1:13 For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; (NASB1995)
Galatians 1:15 But when God, who had set me apart [even] from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased 16 to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, (NASB1995)
Concerning Paul’s calling there is no question that he was called by God to the Gentiles, and that that calling and teaching was without the aid of the Apostles. The fact that he did not go immediately to them did not preclude him from going later. But not yet:
Galatians 1:17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus. (NASB1995)
Nor was he taught by the already established churches.
Galatians 1:22 I was [still] unknown by sight to the churches of Judea which were in Christ; (NASB1995)
So if you now just go back and pay particular attention to the underlined emphasis; then you can easily see that Paul, who was at one time a persecutor of the Church, here makes it clear that he did not immediately consult with those, who were Apostles before him, and in fact was unknown to the churches who were already established in Christ by those Apostles.
Paul’s entire point, was that he was called to be an Apostle and that he was taught by God alone the same gospel which was used by God’s original Apostles to establish churches in Christ. These churches he (Paul) had never before attended, and therefore could not have learned this same gospel from any other source; except by learning it directly from God. And thus he was without any teaching from man. Learning in the same way as did those Apostles preceding him had learned it.
Why is this important? First it qualifies Paul to have the same authority as did Peter, James and John, and all the rest of the Apostles. But even more importantly there are those among us today who make every effort to convince us that Paul’s was a new and different gospel for the Church made up of mainly Gentiles to whom he was called. But to any discerning believer this cannot be Paul’s message. He even makes clear that there were already churches in place with which he had nothing to do and that they were in Christ, just as he taught Gentiles and Jews that they must also be.
So is their a difference in his gospel?
Galatians 1:23 but only, they kept hearing, “He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy.” (NASB1995)
Galatians 3:8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, [saying,] “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.” (NASB1995)
To minister in the Spirit one must be taught by the Spirit.
“I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood…” Nor should we.
LikeLiked by 1 person