March 10: authority (Deuteronomy 13-15; Galatians 1)

Why should we listen to you? We all have received emails with information that is presented as true and authoritative. Maybe it even ends with a dare – “this is so shocking that I dare you to forward this to ten of your friends.” Maybe you have forwarded it only to find out later that it was an effort to spread false information or one person’s opinion presented as authoritative. Today, we can find almost anything on the Internet, but should we believe it just because it’s on the Internet? Or just because someone we know says it is true? Who should we listen to?

Among the first churches that Paul started was one in the city of Galatia. When Paul moved on, others arrived who told these new Christians that Paul was only a secondhand apostle. He was not one of the original twelve who followed Jesus. Can you really trust a secondhand apostle? They said, “You can’t trust what Paul said.” They planted the seeds of doubt and offered their own teaching that was more aligned with Jewish practices, i.e. one must become a Jew in order to be a Christian. So, Paul writes this letter to the Galatians, presenting his resume. In his opening words, he establishes the reason he can be trusted: sent not with a human commission nor by human authority, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead.

And then Paul tells his story – how he came to faith, how his life was changed when called by Jesus Christ. What makes any of us worth listening to? When it is a matter of faith, it is not me but the one who called me and lives within me – only Jesus Christ, my Lord. May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14) Let it not be me but Christ through me.

What is your resume of faith?

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