“Now I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel preached by me is not based on human thought. For I did not receive it from a human source and I was not taught it, but it came by a revelation from Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12, HCSB).
In his letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul refutes those who add or change the original message of the gospel he preached to them, particularly those who were teaching the Galatians to keep the requirements of the Mosaic law, like circumcision, to be justified before God.
Notably, Paul points out that he himself was well advanced in the teachings of Judaism and was once more zealous for the Jewish traditions than most Jews. Yet, all his learning and all his zeal didn’t seem to matter to Paul any more when the Lord Jesus Christ was revealed to him.
The only truth about God we will ever know for sure in this life comes by revelation–by God revealing Himself to us through the leading of His Holy Spirit. And the only way we receive revelation is by making ourselves available to receive it.
We make ourselves available to receive a revelation of God when preachers and teachers lead us into a deeper knowledge and understanding of God’s Word. And then the Holy Spirit can confirm to us in our own spirits the word of knowledge that we are being taught.
The same thing is true for our personal Bible study. Although we may read several chapters from the Bible each day and increase our intellectual knowledge of what the Bible is saying, it is when the Holy Spirit impresses on us and confirms a small portion of God’s truth, a little slice of knowledge of God, in our hearts that revelation occurs!
When we pray, we also make ourselves available for God’s revelation. In prayer we humble ourselves before God and open our minds and hearts to hear from him as we speak our requests and petitions to Him.
Fortunately, revelation comes in small chunks and not more often than we can process it and apply it to our lives. If God revealed too much of Himself to us at once or if He revealed even small chunks too fast, then we would be overwhelmed.
But God reveals Himself to us at just the right time and in just the right way when we desire to know Him and then avail ourselves to receive from Him.
And we can make ourselves available to receive His revelation both individually in our personal devotional time and collectively at church, Sunday School, cell group gatherings, prayer meetings, Bible studies, and family devotions.
The Apostle Paul had a revelation of Jesus Christ. It’s a revelation that is there for each of us to receive, if only we will!