10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.
11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.
12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.
In our last study Paul made it clear that you better not alter the message of Christ (to a works salvation) or you'll be cursed!!! Pretty serious stuff!
Now that brings us to Paul's next dealing with the people in this letter. Paul says in verse 10, ”For do I now persuade men [seeking the approval, obey], or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”
Why would Paul now feel it necessary to say this?
It's believed that the false teachers (Judaizers) were questioning his Apostleship AND likely accusing Paul of acting like a Jew when among the Jews, but acting another way when around the Gentiles (i.e., Galatians). Paul makes it clear that he does not care about "pleasing men."
We see this problem also in Colossians 3:22-23 "...not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men."
Personally, I don't like people getting upset with me, but I must be willing to say whatever God's word says even if those who are lost (unsaved) don't like it, they think the message of the cross to be foolishness! (see I Cor. 1:18)
We must stay true to the scriptures, which means we cannot please men and God. We can't be both!!! Remember the gospel message is NOT what a non-repentant sinner wants to hear. And it is clear here that Paul admits he was ONCE a man pleaser "...IF I still pleased men..." then he would NOT be a bondservant of Christ.
Verse 11: "But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man."
Paul was not preaching a man’s gospel, but that which came directly from God. Today, many preach a man-centered gospel and draw 1000's. I say stick to the Bible (God's message) even if it means not being the most popular church in town, maybe being a lot smaller, too. God will reward your faithfulness to Him. It's not about numbers. Oh, that we would get that out of our heads! Praise God for us who have learned that big isn't necessarily better (often the opposite).
Example: I once had a friend visiting with me who wanted to go check out a mega-church (7,000 seat auditorium). On the way there he noticed he was wearing two different sneakers. He was somewhat embarrassed about it and was wondering if he should go to the service like that. I told him, "Brother, they will run us in there like cattle and run us out of there like cattle." No one noticed!!!
Verse 12: "For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ."
Paul got his understanding of Jesus Christ and the gospel message directly from the Lord, and ended up being an instrument of the Holy Spirit to write approximately 1/3 of the New Testament. MAIN POINT: This was not man inspired, but God inspired!
NOTE: For almost 2000 years the canon of the scriptures is closed comprising 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books. So don't go saying God spoke (revealed) something to you that is beyond the scriptures. He won't EVER reveal ANYTHING that goes against His Holy Scriptures (the Bible).
As we close, let me ask you, "Are you a men pleaser or a God pleaser?"
We must live to please an audience of ONE - Please the LORD!!!
That's all that matters.
We conclude this week’s lesson on Galatians.
Do invite people to join us at: http://www.biblefood.blogspot.com/or on FB go to the group: http://tiny.cc/8x6qo
In the UPPER LEFT corner of this blog add yourself with Google Friend Connect and get this blog automatically.
Comments are welcome and appreciated!