The Gospel is Not of Human Origin
Day 9: Friday, March 15, 2019
“I want you to know, brothers and sisters that the gospel I preached is not of human origin…”
There is something in the human ego that desires, if not requires, a sense of self-accomplishment. There is something in us that wants, even needs, to earn our own way. This is the motivation behind the myth of the self-made man or woman, and the lie beneath the legend of the Lone Ranger. The instinct is not all wrong. It is in some sense necessary for healthy self-esteem; and without it, we may fail to make our way in the world.
But left unchecked, our ego can be the very thing that keeps us from finding our truest selves. The ego can rob us from the opportunity of knowing deep and fulfilling relationships with others, infinitely worse, the ego can block us from ever knowing what it means to live in grace.
Grace is offensive to the human ego because it robs the ego of any claim to human achievement. Grace, and therefore the Gospel, is entirely an act, and free gift, of God. The gospel is the truth that upends the lie, that somehow we can earn our worth, or that anything in the world could possibly rob us of it. The gospel is news that the world simply cannot give, and news that the world cannot obfuscate, complicate or take away.
So, Paul says to the Galatians: “I want you to know, brothers and sisters that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ” (1:11-12).
Read This Week: Galatians 1:6-12
Respond: Questions for Reflection and Discussion
Paul makes the point that grace transcends any religious system or human accomplishment. If this is the case, are there any parts of organized religion, or modern church life, that the Gospel renders obsolete?
If given the opportunity, what might you change about the church to help people experience more of Christ and less human ego?
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