Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 1 Study # 6
August 8, 2010
1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)
1901 ASV Translation:
1 Paul, an apostle (not from men, neither through man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead),
- I. From the Authorial Side.
- A. Author: Paul.
- 1. Received his new "name" just as he was getting involved with the Galatian churches (Acts 13:9).
- 2. Became "Paul" at the precise point of his first recorded exercise of apostolic power against the Kingdom of Darkness (Acts 13:9-12) in which he had been a major player until he came to grip with the "identity" of his Opponent on the road to Damascus (Who art thou, Lord? -- Acts 9:5).
- 3. Self-identifies as "an apostle".
- a. The issue of "apostle".
- b. The "issue" of the divine use of mediators.
- c. The "issue" of Paul's identity-origins.
- 1) In our context, it is clear that Paul wanted very much to make absolutely sure that his readers knew that his "apostleship" was not a "human" reality.
- a) The issue of origins is a part of the problem of overcoming "unbelief".
- b) There is a parallel here in the evangelical belief that the "original" documents of the Bible were inspired by God so as to be absolutely without error.
- 2) Alternatively, Paul wanted very much to make absolutely sure that his readers knew that his "apostleship" was tied to Jesus Christ and God as Father.
- a) He used the same grammatical formulation as he had used to distance his apostleship from "man": his "apostleship" was "through" Jesus Christ and God the Father.
- b) His focus was upon Jesus Christ.
- c) However, it was "God the Father" Who validated the identity/position of the Son by raising Him from the dead.
- i. The issue in all "religious" claims and counter-claims is the exercise of power in sustaining final authority. It really does not matter what the claims may be if they are ultimately unsupported/unenforced, nor does it matter what the Enforcer is actually like if, in fact, His will is imposed over any and all objections.
- ii. But, a chief factor in the identification of the Executor of Ultimate Power is His "character" -- not because it validates His identity as Executor of Ultimate Power, but because it explains His use of power. That God is "Father" in Paul's "T"heology at the level of "faith" does absolutely nothing to sustain His identity as Executor, but it does a lot to attract those for whom He will exercise His power. For man, submission to the "God" is to be seen as an automatic responsibility as a creature (Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed, "Why hast Thou made me thus?" -- Romans 9:20), but for submission to actually occur, man must view God as Friend and not Enemy (Romans 8:7). There is something about fear that enables it to generate frantic opposition even when it is totally vain. Even though men are obliged to submit by virtue of their rationality and creaturehood, they will not as long as they are afraid.