I neither received it of man - By means of any apostle, as was remarked Galatians 1:1. No man taught me what I have preached to you.
But by the revelation of Jesus Christ - Being commissioned by himself alone; receiving the knowledge of it from Christ crucified.
For I neither received it of man - This is very probably said in reply to his opponents, who had maintained that Paul had derived his knowledge of the gospel from other people, since he had not been personally known to the Lord Jesus, or been of the number of those whom Jesus called to be his apostles. In reply to this, he says, that he did not receive his gospel in any way from man.
Neither was I taught it - That is, by man. He was not taught it by any written account of it, or by the instruction of man in any way. The only plausible objection to this statement which could be urged would be the fact that Paul had an interview with Ananias Acts 9:17 before his baptism, and that he would probably receive instructions from him. But to this it may be replied:
(1)That there is no evidence that Ananias went into an explanation of the nature of the Christian religion in his interview with Paul;
(3)The purpose for which Ananias was sent to him in Damascus was that Paul might receive his sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit, Acts 9:17. Whatever instructions he may have received through Ananias, it is still true that his call was directly from the Lord Jesus, and his information of the nature of Christianity from Jesus‘ revelation.
But by the revelation of Jesus Christ - On his way to Damascus, and subsequently in the temple, Acts 22:17-21. Doubtless, he received communications at various times from the Lord Jesus with regard to the nature of the gospel and his duty. The sense here is, that he was not indebted to people for his knowledge of the gospel, but had derived it entirely from the Saviour.
In his letter to the Galatian believers Paul briefly reviewed the leading incidents connected with his own conversion and early Christian experience. By this means he sought to show that it was through a special manifestation of divine power that he had been led to see and grasp the great truths of the gospel. It was through instruction received from God Himself that Paul was led to warn and admonish the Galatians in so solemn and positive a manner. He wrote, not in hesitancy and doubt, but with the assurance of settled conviction and absolute knowledge. He clearly outlined the difference between being taught by man and receiving instruction direct from Christ. AA 386.1
The apostle urged the Galatians to leave the false guides by whom they had been misled, and to return to the faith that had been accompanied by unmistakable evidences of divine approval. The men who had attempted to lead them from their belief in the gospel were hypocrites, unholy in heart and corrupt in life. Their religion was made up of a round of ceremonies, through the performance of which they expected to gain the favor of God. They had no desire for a gospel that called for obedience to the word, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3. They felt that a religion based on such a doctrine, required too great a sacrifice, and they clung to their errors, deceiving themselves and others. AA 386.2
To substitute external forms of religion for holiness of heart and life is still as pleasing to the unrenewed nature as it was in the days of these Jewish teachers. Today, as then, there are false spiritual guides, to whose doctrines many listen eagerly. It is Satan's studied effort to divert minds from the hope of salvation through faith in Christ and obedience to the law of God. In every age the archenemy adapts his temptations to the prejudices or inclinations of those whom he is seeking to deceive. In apostolic times he led the Jews to exalt the ceremonial law and reject Christ; at the present time he induces many professing Christians, under pretense of honoring Christ, to cast contempt on the moral law and to teach that its precepts may be transgressed with impunity. It is the duty of every servant of God to withstand firmly and decidedly these perverters of the faith and by the word of truth fearlessly to expose their errors. AA 387.1Read in context »