Day 7 meditation reveals the unique learning process of Christianity.
One of the most amazing paradoxes of Christianity is the process of Christian learning. Man’s seeking of God (not just the heathen, but the Christian as well) is not achieved by his climbing the ladder of this own skill, will, or determination, but rather by his coming to the realization that he stands naked before God doomed to ignorance in the things of God unless God Himself intervenes into his helplessness. The good news of Jesus Christ is not only a message of grace; it is also a message by grace. Paul indicates this fundamental principle of Christianity in his letter to the Galatians. He writes, “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ (Gal. 1:11, 12).
Day 7 meditation is simply the gospel of grace is different from all the ways of man.
The gospel of grace is simply “not after man.” Paul is stating precisely that man and his ways did not produce the gospel in him. The phrase “after man” means the gospel did not originate with man, neither can it be passed on by man. Although man is the channel through which the preaching goes forth, the actual process of the proclamation of the gospel is as distinctive as the message of the gospel. The gospel that Paul received was not after man in its content nor in its pedagogy. Christianity is distinctively different from all the ways of the world, for the gospel of grace is by grace.
For man to receive the truth of Jesus requires a source always outside of man. If it took the star of revelation in the nativity scene to find Jesus, it will also take the process of revelation to understand all there is to know about Christianity (Col. 2:3). Man’s understanding of the “writings of the prophet,” as the kings seeking the baby Jesus found out, can get him close, but it cannot take him to the ultimate realization of the Christ. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of grace by grace. The understanding of God by man is actually a work of God for man.