“But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man”
Paul begins the defense of his apostolic authority with this verse (1:11-2:21). In verses 11 to 24 he shows that he derives his authority not just from the twelve apostles but from God, who gave the gospel to him by direct revelation. Verses 11 and 12 show us that the gospel is not from human origin.
But I make known to you,
“Make known” carries the idea of “I assure you.” This is an issue of grave consequence. Paul will now prove his gospel was completely from God.
Although we do not seek to please men (v.10), we want to clarify our understanding with fellow believers. The legalists wanted to discredit Paul because if they could discredit the man, they could discredit his message.
that the gospel which was preached by me
There is a play on words in this phrase – “that the gospel which was preached [gospeled] by me…”
is not according to man
Paul did not derive his gospel from some human organization. The Greek says “according to the criteria of man.” The Lord Jesus revealed the gospel of grace to him directly so he did not receive it by normal human criteria; he received the gospel by supernatural criteria. He shows this by his salvation experience (1:13-17), his connection to the apostles in Jerusalem (1:18-2:10) and in his altercation with Peter (2:11-21).
Paul’s gospel was clearly of divine origin. No human means of any kind revealed the gospel to him.
We can count on the gospel as trustworthy because it came by revelation through the Lord Jesus Christ and not from men.
Christians do not put their trust in a message manufactured by people but in a message revealed by God. False teachers spin their message out of their own human cocoons. They invent their message in their own thinking.