I was unconscious when they found me, blood on my forehead. They got me responsive and took me to the emergency room as I went into shock.
What had happened you ask?
I was on a jog with Gracie in her stroller when a pack of vicious street dogs attacked. I fought them off bare-handed as best I could, as I protected my precious baby girl. I pulled hair, punched snouts, kicked, and screamed for help. I eventually succumbed to their attack, but Gracie was saved.
What a story that would be.
Unfortunately, that is not the truth.
Seven years ago now, when I was a student at Oklahoma Baptist University, we had a snow day. Me, being the buffoon that I was, neglected to wear a jacket. Instead I decided to take DayQuil. After hours of snowball fights, makeshift sledding, and other shenanigans, I had approximately zero water in my body. That night, when getting ready for bed, my brain stopped working was a result.
I went tumbling into the shower, knocking down the shower curtain with a crash before drilling my face on the spigot.
And that, my friends, is where they found me.
Hilariously embarrassing stuff.
So why do I share a lie and then the true story?
I’m glad you asked.
First, read these verses.
Paul, an apostle – not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead – Galatians 1:1
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. – Galatians 1:11-12
In the letter to the Galatians, Paul makes extra sure to emphasize a couple of things right off the bat. First, he is an apostle. He has authority to speak into the life of the church. But this authority comes from Christ’s call on his life. Secondly, the gospel message that Paul proclaimed in Galatia didn’t arise from his own deep thoughts about life. Rather, this was a message from God above.
Now, Paul likely didn’t have in mind the content of the gospel message when he made these statements. He was defending his apostleship and telling his testimony about experiencing the Risen Christ.
But, it has got me thinking.
I think that one of the greatest proofs for me personally regarding the truthfulness of the Biblical story is how bad humanity is in it.
If I’m going to make up a story revolving around me being found unconscious and bloodied, I’m going to tell you a story about me being the victor. I certainly am not going to tell you a story of me passing out getting ready for bed.
If humans were going to make up a story about our universe, and the meaning of life in it, they certainly wouldn’t make up a story where our righteous deeds are filthy rags, we deserve hell due to our natural inclinations toward sin, and we are in desperate need of a Savior.
The gospel message that Paul came to Galatia to proclaim, the message that he will tease out in all of its beautiful, grace-saturated truths, the message that we today get to continue proclaiming in our communities is not man’s gospel. It is the gospel of God.
Again, man’s gospel would not be what we find in Scripture. It would likely be quite Disneyesque, all about following your heart and achieving your dreams. Go your own way. Blaze your own trail. Be morally good.
But that is not the message of Scripture. The message of Scripture is I’m dead and need to be brought to life. I am a sinner in need of a Savior.
Brothers and sisters, be encouraged.
What we have is good news.
What we have is the best of news.
We should proclaim it from the rooftops, not as our beliefs, but as the gospel of our great God and Savior.
In His Name,
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