Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Of God or Men? 4/23/2013 (rp)

"For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ." Gal 1:10

How much of our daily lives are driven by what other people think? Does it affect what we wear, where we go, who we associate with or what we say? What affect does it have on our Christian lives (which should be indistinguishable from our "daily lives")?

The apostle Paul is making the case that there are those in the Galatian church who have turned away from the true gospel he shared with them in favor of a corrupted gospel shared with them by others with questionable motives. They were called Judaizers and they taught that it was necessary to commit to Jewish custom and law to become a Christian. These same people are the ones who caused Peter to turn away from eating with Gentiles with whom he was sharing the gospel because he did not want to be known for associating with them. Paul publicly chastised him for this behavior because he was more interested in pleasing certain people than in doing the work of the Lord.

Beloved, the gospel message and the Christian life it espouses is not going to be popular with everyone. There are those who look with derision on people of faith. This can be a challenging thing for those who are not yet strong in their faith. So called friends and associates attempt to lead them back into the darkness from which they were saved. Even those who are strong in the faith can be subject to pleasing man rather than God. We must remain ever vigilant in setting the example of godliness rather than following the example of ungodliness. To do anything less would mean that we would "not be a bond-servant of Christ."




John Carson said...

"It seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession... We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe... We are FOOLS FOR CHRIST." 1 Cor. 9:20-22 (NLT)

The love of Christ gives us the heart and the courage to show love, invite people into our lives and give reason for our faith in Christ. His love makes us care for people, and not care how we look.

Steve Finnell said...

Is it possible to seek the approval of men and be an effective servant of Christ? To go with the flow works well unless there is a waterfall at the end of the river. Then the ride can get a little bumpy.

Galatians 1:10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

The apostle Paul said if I were "still" trying to please men. Obviously while Paul was a Pharisee he was trying to please men.
Do men today continue in their denominations to please friends and relatives?

John 12:42-43 Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.

Are there those today who know in their heart that Jesus was correct when He said "has been baptized shall be saved," but will not confess it because they fear being ostracized by church members, friends and relatives?

James 4:4 You adulteresses, do you not know the friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

If we have friendship with the world, then we get their approval. Is that approval worth becoming an enemy of God?

Luke 6:26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.

If all believers and the world speak well of you, do you think you might want to reconsider your life style, as well as your faith?

2 Timothy 4:2-3 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,

If men do not like what the Bible teaches, they will find people who will teach what meets their approval.

We sometimes think that speaking the truth in love means that we should water down the gospel, compromise the requirements for salvation, accept the sins of the world or simply offer excuses for sin.


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