Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Kirma 2: The Price of Following Man
"Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead"
Have you ever noticed that this theme persists throughout all of Galatians? "Sent not from men nor by a man."
The Galatians were apparently more interested in which men a person was associated with, rather than which Gospel that person preached. Paul systematically breaks down this stronghold throughout the book of Galatians.
"But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ." 1:8-10
Are we so bold? Are you bold enough to declare that you are no longer about the business of pleasing people, but only about the business of being a servant of Christ?
"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
Paul is totally disassociating himself and the Gospel from any human origin. How foreign this is from the basic, run-of-the-mill "testimony" we hear so often, where a believer credits another, older believer with being the source of their new found faith. Is our faith built upon someone else's faith, or does it spring from real revelation from Jesus Christ Himself?
"But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being." 1:15-16
How strange this is to the modern Church, which presses each new believer to consult pastors, worship leaders, Bible studies, small groups, and mountains upon mountains of books written by supposedly great men of God who have all of the answers....but are we training our young believers to consult Jesus? To thrust their roots deeply into His grace and His presence?
"Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles." 2:1-2
He "went in response to a revelation." He didn't go because he was somehow incomplete without the approval of the Jewish elders. He didn't need their endorsement. He went because Jesus sent him. Jesus was Paul's only endorsement, and his only source of authority.
"As for those who were held in high esteem—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism—they added nothing to my message." 2:6
Ha! How proud and haughty these words would sound coming from a pulpit today, where every pastor seems to need connections with a famous teacher in order to appear legitimate!
God does not show favoritism. Do you believe that, son or daughter of the Living God? Do you believe that in Heaven's eyes you are given the same power and wisdom that was given to Paul himself, because you have been given the same Jesus that was given to Paul?
The word "kirma" means an unholy mixture, where the true thing is torn and rendered incomplete in order to be mixed with the lesser, false thing. Church, stop trying to mix the power and authority of Christ with the weak, empty influence of man! The greatest teacher in the history of the church has no more of Jesus than the newest Christian! Jesus spilled all of Himself out for each one. You only need to know Christ. He will direct how His Body moves and builds itself up. All you have is Christ. All you need is Christ.
When someone asks you "what kind" of Christian you are, do not tell them which pastors you listen to, which books you read, which theologians you admire! Tell them Who Christ is!
The price of following man is that you are no longer a servant of Christ alone. Do not let this type of "kirma" infiltrate your life. It's not worth it. He poured Himself out so that you could have all of Him! Do not mix His priceless sacrifice with the safer, more comforting shadow of a "great man." Follow Paul's example in this world, a world which only knows a faded image of Jesus that is portrayed in the sermons of "great men." Disassociate yourself from man's authority. Walk under the authority of Christ. Be His servant, and no one else's.