I. Not Designed To Please Man

A. The Gospel Isn’t Designed To Please Man V. 10

1. V. 10a- Persuade– To please or gain favor.

a. Neither the Gospel nor those who declare it are designed to be men pleasers.
b. The main desire of people pleasers is to please them, and not offend them.
c. The design of the Gospel is not just to inform man of his lost condition, but also of God’s love and His gracious remedy.

2. The Gospel is offensive for the following reasons:

a. It insults our pride: it declares that mankind has sinned and deserves God’s judgment.
It gives mankind no credit for being able to save him.
b. It seems foolish: it declares that God became a man and died a horrible death for our sins. That doesn’t seem like it was necessary.
c. It offends our knowledge and experience: Jesus died, was buried, but came back to life. That cannot be presently proven in a scientific fashion. It can be deductively argued for, but still requires faith.

3. There is a silent insinuation that the false Gospel did have elements in it that would be pleasing to men, namely, the keep of the Law.

a. When people keep the rules, they often congratulate themselves.

B. God’s People Shouldn’t Be Men Pleasers V. 10b

1. V. 10b- Bondservant- Literally, a slave.

a. One who had forfeited his rights in order to serve his master.
b. His allegiance was to his master, not to himself or others.
c. The ‘bond-servant of Christ’ is not free to offer or withhold his ‘service’; his life is not his own, but belongs entirely to his Lord.” (Duncan, cited in Morris)
d. A person cannot successfully be a people pleaser and a bondservant of Jesus.

2. The word servant doesn’t go far enough with the idea.

a. Servants can serve voluntarily or part time.
b. A servant may choose to serve or not serve; a slave knows that he is to only obey.

3. Luke 6:46 “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?

II. Created And Revealed By God, Not Created By Man

A. Paul Immediately Received The Gospel Directly From Jesus Vs. 11, 12

1. V. 11- The Gospel is not according to man; the origin isn’t from man, but from God.

a. The revelation of God regarding the Gospel is recorded clearly in the New Testament.
b. The reliability of the New Testament is a well presented argument.

i. http://www.str.org/articles/is-the-new-testament-text-reliable#.UnWp3_msiSo
ii. http://carm.org/manuscript-evidence

c. David Guzik- One might look at all this evidence and still say, “It doesn’t prove that the Bible came from God.” The point is granted; but it does give us a reason to believe that it did. In the end, believing the Bible is from God is a step of faith. But it is a step of intelligent and informed faith, not a leap of blind faith.

2. V. 12- Acts 9:1-22 describes Paul’s conversion and very soon subsequent preaching

a. Paul was raised as a Pharisee, an expert in the Old Testament.
b. It is safe to say that during his three days of blindness that he was taught by Jesus.
c. The Old Testament scriptures explain the coming Messiah. It all came together.

B. Paul Not Taught By Men

1. Vs. 15, 16– When Jesus revealed Himself and the Gospel to Paul, Paul didn’t need to go and check with anyone or be further instructed.
2. V. 17- Additionally, Paul did not need to be tutored by the Apostles in Jerusalem. This would have been the remaining Eleven who had been with Jesus, Judas having killed himself.

a. After conversion, Paul preached the Gospel in synagogues in Damascus.
b. He then went to Arabia, (not Saudi Arabia) and then returned to Damascus.
c. It is assumed that Paul remained in Damascus for the next three years.

3. Vs. 18-20- After three years Paul went to Jerusalem, still the epicenter of the church.

a. He spent 15 days with Peter, but because he was commanded to, but he wanted to.
b. The only other church leader he visited with was Jesus’ half-brother James.
c. He did not visit with or be mentored by any church leader.

i. He had been taught by Jesus. No man could add to that.
ii. How surprised Peter must have been to meet this former persecutor and expert of Judaism. Paul probably could have talked theological circles around Peter.

d. Paul affirmed that this was true, and undoubtedly, it could have been verified.

4. Vs. 21, 22- This famous convert from Judaism lived in obscurity for a number of years.

a. The center of the early church didn’t even know him by face.
b. This is very different from today, when the church likes to quickly promote celebrities who get saved. God did not quickly promote Paul to being well known.

III. The Gospel Powerful To Change Lives

A. From Persecutor To Preacher Vs. 15, 16

1. From birth, Paul received a special commissioning from God.

a. If Paul was called from the womb, that means he did nothing to deserve it.
b. That is a picture of both salvation and appointment by grace, not by works.
c. In fact, Paul’s former life should have disqualified him from being an apostle.
d. Martin Luther on Paul’s calling– “Did God call me on account of my holy life? Or on account of my pharsaical religion? Or on account of my prayers, fastings, and works? Never. Well, then, it is certain God did not call me on account of my blasphemies, persecutions, oppressions. What prompted Him to call me? His grace alone.”

2. Paul was to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles.
3. We still see God as the Origin behind the Gospel; God designed it, God communicates it directly to people or to people through people.

B. Visibly Changed Life That Brought Glory To God Vs. 13, 14, 23, 24

1. Paul wasn’t seeking after Jesus when he got confronted by Jesus

a. He wasn’t feeling emptiness in his life.
b. He was sure that his life was perfect; so serious as to hunt down followers of Jesus.
c. Jesus interrupted Paul.

2. Not every Christian has this kind of testimony.
3. However, none of us knows how we would have turned out without Jesus.
4. The Christian ought to have an ongoing testimony of a saved life, which should bring glory to God.