“I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.” Galatians 1:11-12 (NIV)
In each of our lives, there are times when we need a special word of encouragement to help us. You may feel like you are going through the motions or going through a valley in your life. You need something out of the ordinary to encourage you to keep going. You need a revelation.
Paul said in Galatians 1:11-12 that the gospel is not something made up by people; instead, it is something received through revelation. In the Greek language, this word for revelation is apokalupsis, and it means an unveiling. In other words, the gospel was not something man could fabricate. The gospel was something that God had to literally reveal or manifest to him.
This apokalupsis or unveiling changed Paul’s life forever. Paul was instantly changed from a man that persecuted the Church into someone who promoted it! This revelation from God was so powerful that Paul was willing to risk his life over and over again. In our lives, we need revelation because it moves us from inaction towards action. It changes our lives forever. This revelation enabled Paul to help other people as well. Paul wrote about one-half of the New Testament. Think about the countless people that have been touched the past two thousand years because of the revelation given to Paul. This revelation was so strong that it outlived Paul reached into the future (and into our time today).
In Deuteronomy 29:29 God said, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” Revelation is something that stirs us to obey God’s Word. It expands our understanding of the Word of God and motivates us to act. Let’s use a practical example.
Let’s say that you have been Spirit-Filled for most of your life. You have always believed in the Bible and the gifts of the Spirit. But one day, while reading your Bible, you discover that Paul said, “…pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests…” (Ephesians 6:18). You may have read over that verse a hundred times, but this one time it especially stuck with you. Now, you see the need to pray in the Spirit more often. You also see that there are different kinds of prayers that are prayed with your prayer language. This revelation will change your life and change the lives of others around you.
Revelation from God causes us to change our normal routine and adopt something unfamiliar, just as the revelation Paul received radically changed his life.
We will continue this next time!