"But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus."
Galatians 1:11-17 NKJV
Many of you may have grown up in a church where you had many traditions that you took part in. Some you may have enjoyed and others you may have not so much enjoyed. Maybe you started asking "What does it all mean?" Or "why am I doing this?"
There certainly isn't anything wrong with traditions in the church. But it's important that we know why we do what we do and why we believe what we believe. Is what we are doing complementing or compromising the Gospel of Jesus? Anything that isn't worthy of the calling of Jesus is unnecessary. Paul was addressing the church of Galatia in the passage above letting them know if anyone kept the traditions of Judaism, He certainly did. But Paul was telling them that it didn't matter when compared to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He made sure the Galatians knew that everything he was taught was taught by Jesus and no one else. Have you ever questioned anyone who addressed you as to what authority they had over you? I'm sure the church in Galatia had that same question for Paul. After all, they were drifting away.
If anyone tried to destroy the message of Jesus Christ, it was Paul. He, much like the religious leaders of the day, sought to get rid of anyone who preached the message of Jesus. It wasn't until his revelation with Jesus Himself that he turned around completely and became a supporter. But it took the revelation of Jesus to change him. It took Jesus asking him "What are you doing Saul???"
What about you? What are you doing? In the church, it is easy to forget or take for granted that we have a loving pastor who seeks to shepherd the sheep he has been given. We have a loving body of believers with years of experience in God's call for their lives ready to help us if we need it. But some will never go to anyone for help in understanding God's call for their own life. So they fall off and maybe even revert back to the way they have always done things and never get that revelation from Jesus.
If you're one who needs help understanding what the message of the Gospel means and all that goes along with it, connect with someone from your church body that you trust. If you don't have a home church, find one! Not just any church, but one that preaches from the bible and values God and His people. When I say that I mean be careful you aren't a part of a church like the one in Galatia. They turned away from the gospel and valued the traditions of Judaism instead, and you need to be around a church body that will bring you closer in your relationship with Jesus.