“I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12).
“If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing” (I Corinthians 13:3).
Have you ever noticed that some Christians treat Christianity like a philosophy or set of religious teachings? For such people, Christianity is something akin to a cultural expression instead of a love relationship with the Lord.
Did that turn your head? Love relationship? Yes. Essentially, Christianity is to be expressed as a love relationship with the Lord.
The apostle Paul taught many important principles of the faith. He has given us unique insights into the Old Testament and the identity of Jesus Christ. But, for Paul, these principles and practices were almost secondary. They were an expression of something greater, something far greater.
Paul said he received the Gospel as a revelation rather than something he was taught. This means that he heard from Jesus directly. The other 11 apostles also heard from Jesus directly. But they heard from him while he lived on the earth. Paul heard from Jesus after Jesus was raised and ascended to heaven. And for all that Paul learned from Jesus, he emphasized in many of his writings the importance of loving the Lord. Paul said that without love all these things he taught would amount to nothing. Love is the key to the Christian life. Love for the Lord and love for others in the name of the Lord.
Take comfort in the Gospel that you have received. For Paul received it from Christ and you have been taught it by those before you, going back to that revelation. The Gospel you believe is of divine source. And it is from that divine source that we also have the power to love.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5).
Do you follow the teachings of a famous pastor or that of Jesus? The teachings of your pastors is important, but like the scripture they should point us directly to Jesus. Who has your attention?