Following Men

Daily Reform, Day 77

Galatians 2:6 & 1 Corinthians 3:1-11

From the Reformer

The false apostles used this argument against Paul: “The apostles lived with Christ for three years. They heard His sermons. They witnessed His miracles. They themselves preached and performed miracles while Christ was on earth. Paul never saw Jesus in the flesh. Now, whom ought you to believe: Paul, who stands alone, a mere disciple of the apostles, one of the last and least; or will you believe those grand apostles who were sent and confirmed by Christ Himself long before Paul?”

What could Paul say to that? He answered: “What they say has no bearing on the argument. If the apostles were angels from heaven, that would not impress me. We are not now discussing the excellency of the apostles. We are talking about the Word of God now, and the truth of the Gospel. That Gospel is more excellent than all apostles.”

—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

We have previously stated that it does not matter what anyone says. What matters is the Gospel; what matters is what God said. One may answer, I follow what Peter said so I am doing what God said. Peter also was a man and did wrong at times. (Gal 2:11) Why would one want to follow him? However, if you follow what God inspired through Peter, then you are listening to God. There is a difference between what a man says and what God says through a man. One may say, But I follow an Apostle of God so I am following God. No, we do not follow men. We must follow the Gospel.

If one takes the sum of the apostles, including Paul, and adds to them Martin Luther, Billy Graham, and the Pope, the Gospel is still more excellent and true. Follow the Gospel and you follow Christ. Follow man, even a man who penned part of the New Testament, and you are merely following, well … man.

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

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