The words of Acts 16:6-7 show us that Paul had previously visited the region of Galatia.  Paul would later write in this epistle to the Galatians of his time there and how the Gospel he preached had been well received.  “Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 4:13-14).  They had received him as a messenger of God and sympathized with his affliction so that if it had been possible, they would have plucked out their own eyes and given them to Paul. (Verse 15).

The main purpose of this epistle was to defend the Gospel which Paul had received by revelation of Jesus Christ. To do this successfully Paul first had to defend his own apostolic authority.  So, he begins this epistle to the Galatians by stating in Galatians 1:1, “Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead.)”

Paul’s words to those who had perverted the true Gospel of Christ were neither vague nor gentle.  We read in Galatians 1:6-8, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, LET HIM BE ACCURSED.”

So serious was the matter of perverting the Gospel (in this case it was the attempt to mingle the Law with the Gospel), that Paul repeats himself in verse 9, “As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, LET HIM BE ACCURSED.”

Now let’s look at Galatians 1:10-11, “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I CERTIFY YOU, BRETHREN, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.”  Paul declares emphatically that he is not interested in popularity.  His desire is to please God, not to please men. 

I must admit that my eye had never been attracted to that particular phrase, “I certify you, brethren.”  Let us look at a few translations other than the KJV to see if that helps us to understand it.

NASB – “For I WOULD HAVE YOU KNOW, brothers and sisters, that the gospel which was preached by me is not of human invention.”

NKJV – “But I MAKE KNOWN TO YOU, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.”

DARBY – “But I LET YOU KNOW, brethren, [as to] the glad tidings which were announced by me, that they are not according to man.”

That makes the meaning obvious, doesn’t it?  Paul wanted to reassure the Galatian believers that the Gospel message he preached did not originate in the mind of a man.  Rather, it was a revelation from God Himself as Paul stated in verse 12, “For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught if, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Today, there are so many perversions of the Gospel.  A gospel based on works, a gospel based on keeping the Law, a gospel based on baptism, a gospel based on monetary giving, etc.  May we be sure we understand the true Gospel is that salvation comes by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior, apart from which there is NO OTHER WAY.  Titus 3:5-7 tells us, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”  (CC)  (547.2)