Many falsely assume or even proclaim that they have been taught by God directly without the aid or through the agency of people. I’m not talking about the daily life lessons we learn as we walk together with God and each other (Matthew 28:19,20), or the wisdom he gives us when we ask (James 1:5), or even the answers to our prayers. I’m talking about overarching concepts like the Gospel, ALL that Christ commanded, and those things that God has revealed concerning His own nature.
No one can claim to have received these things while perched on a mountain on an island of their own existential creation. Some may claim, like Paul, that they “received the gospel he preached and that it was not of human origin, and that they did not receive it from any man, nor were they taught it; but rather, received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1:11,12)
But, they would be wrong.
Paul spent his entire life in the scriptures which were mediated through men by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He was a Pharisee and a descendant of Pharisees, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, studied under Gamaliel, and was thoroughly trained in the law of his ancestors. He was “taught” extensively and exhaustively.
So, what was Paul saying them? If we look carefully at Galatians 1:12,3 – He said that what he received was not from “human origin.” he was referring to the vision he had “fourteen years before” ( 2 Corinthians 12:1), to the specific aspect of the “gospel of grace.” and not to all knowledge he had attained in the past. A few questions:
Can anyone be born again without the scriptures? (Careful, it’s a trick question)
Can anyone claim to be taught directly by God in such a way as to understand ALL that God has revealed without Scripture?
Can anyone claim to have been taught anything by God which contradicts scripture?