“For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.”
In today’s culture, faith is often equated with opinion. People often tell us, when we express our faith, that it's merely what we believe. They assert that your faith may be true for you, but that this doesn't make it true for everyone else.
For this reason, missions is discouraged. In fact, it's often viewed as racist, intolerant, and bigoted. It's believed to imply that our opinion and practices are superior to those of everyone else.
As those who are called to proclaim the Good News of Christ, we must understand that this isn't the case. Our faith is not merely an opinion. It isn't merely man’s gospel, nor did it come from man. It's the revelation of God that's come through Jesus.
This is the very point Paul was communicating to the Galatians. Although other teachers had come among them, and although a different “gospel” was being promoted, there was something fundamentally different between the two. Paul’s gospel had come from God himself.
We remember, of course, how Paul was brought to faith. Jesus himself appeared to Paul as he was traveling on the road to Damascus. He went on to explain that, after being called by Christ to proclaim the gospel, he didn't consult anyone. He went into the desert of Arabia, and returned to Damascus. It was only after three years that he went to Jerusalem to meet Peter.
His point is that his message came from none other than God himself. And, in the same way, he was not commissioned by man, but by God. It's this mindset that we also must maintain as we go to the nations.
If our message were simply the teaching of man, we'd have reason for reservation. If our commissioning had come only from man, we'd have reason to question its authenticity. But, like Paul, we have a message that has come from the mouth of God and that was revealed in Jesus. And, in the same way, we have been commissioned by Christ himself, who has called us to proclaim the gospel to all nations.
We must, therefore, faithfully go. We must faithfully proclaim this message. We must do so knowing that it's by this faith, and by this faith alone, that man can escape the power of sin and death.