Hearing Things, Daily Reform, Day 39


Galatians 1:11-12 & Romans 10:17

From the Reformer

This passage constitutes Paul’s chief defense against the accusations of his opponents. He maintains under oath that he received his Gospel not from men, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

In declaring that his Gospel is not after man, Paul does not merely wish to state that his Gospel is not mundane. The false apostles made the same claim for their gospel. Paul means to say that he learned his Gospel not in the usual and accepted manner through the agency of men by hearing, reading, or writing. He received the Gospel by special revelation directly from Jesus Christ.

—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

What a mental case, we might say. Paul said that God spoke to him. People say this sort of thing very often. Just yesterday a lady told me that God speaks to her. Indeed, he speaks to me through his word. But she says God tells her things that are outside of his word. A girl once informed a friend of mine that God told her my friend was supposed to marry her. Too bad for her that God failed to mention the matter to my friend.

These are not truly mental cases, but are sad people who justify their desires by pinning it on God, insisting that he speaks to them. Yet here is the Apostle, maintaining essentially the same thing: God spoke to him. Later, other Apostles confirmed what he heard. Jesus had taught them the same things. Paul could not have known the particulars of these things on his own. Still, he could only contend with the false apostles by faith. I know what I heard.

We can do no other. We know what gospel has been taught to us by God through his inspired word. Prove it! We can not and should not try. Ours is simply to maintain that it is the truth. Paul stuck to his story until his dying days. The lady yesterday has changed her story over the years. That girl…well, she and my friend never got married but I hope she is happier today than she would have been if my friend had listened to her and married her.

Who are you listening to today? Are you listening to God or are you just hearing things?

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers

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