Galatians 1:10

Sunday, 09 July 2017

-Today’s teaching will be part two of a series I’ve titled, “Jesus Only.” -If you were to put a caption on this epistle, it would probably need to be something along the lines of our “Freedom in Christ.” -This because the Apostle Paul addresses the legalism vis-à-vis a different gospel taking up residence in the Galatian churches.

-There were a number of reasons for this, chief of which was those preaching a different gospel succeeded in discrediting Paul. -By discrediting Paul’s apostolic authority as the messenger they were met with a measure of success discrediting the message. -This tactic of the Devil is alive and well today such that, there are those who seek to discredit the infallibility of the Word of God.

-Sadly, once the seed of doubt concerning the authority of God’s Word sprouts and germinates one is led astray and falls away. -Such was the case with the Galatian churches, which is why Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, writes them so as to correct them. -In so doing, he will expose what I would argue is one of the most, if not the most dangerous traps we as Christians can fall into.

-Enter our text today here in verses 10-12, and with it the third in a series of questions that we would do well to ask ourselves. -Namely, that of “Who am I living to please?”  The fact of the matter is I will either be a man pleaser or a God pleaser, not both. -In other words, it’s either one or the other, which is essentially what Jesus Himself said concerning the serving of two masters.

Matthew 6:24 (NKJV) — 24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

-The reason I point this out is that the words of the Savior brings into focus the relationship between the servant and the master. -This is why Paul tells the Galatians if he were still trying to please or serve man, if you will, he would not be a servant of Christ. -Clearly, the Apostle Paul had only and served only one master, and that master was Jesus Christ, Whom he sought to please.

3. Who am I living to please?  (Verses 10-12) 10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. 11 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. -It’s important to note that the word servant in verse 10 is translated as “slave,” which changes the complexion of the passage. -Paul was a slave of Christ, and as such, he could not also be a slave of man in the sense that he couldn’t serve or please man. -He expounds on this in verses 11-12 saying that the gospel he preached was not from man, but only by revelation from Jesus.

-Paul is referring to this revelation of Jesus on the road to Damascus, which he talks about later towards the end of the chapter. -I believe the reason Paul refers to this is because he is painting a stark contrast between the gospel, and this different gospel. -The implication being that this different gospel had at its core a man-pleasing component, which had ensnared the Galatians.

Proverbs 29:25 (NKJV) — 25 The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.

-Dare I say that it’s this very fear of man on the part of many a pastor today that has ensnared them to preach a different gospel. -Please know that I, as a pastor, am keenly aware of my own propensity to fall into the trap of fearing what you will think of me. -I’m also keenly aware of what would happen if I did. It would only be a matter of time before I only taught you what pleased you.

I like how one commentator said it, “There have always been preachers who have sought popular acclaim above all else, and there are some still. It is part of fallen human nature that even those charged with the responsibility of proclaiming the gospel can fall into the trap of trying to be popular rather than faithful.”

2 Timothy 4:1–4 (NKJV) — 1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

-Lest you think that the onus is only on the preacher let me hasten to say that Paul refers to the hearer no less than seven times. -He only refers to the preacher one time saying, I charge you Timothy.  He then says, they, their, and themselves seven times. -Simply put, you are the, they, their and themselves, so there.  In all seriousness though, we are both accountable to the Lord.

-So let’s be honest with ourselves and ask ourselves who it is that I really am living to please?  Am I living only to please myself? -Here’s another question I think we should ask ourselves do I seek the approval of others more than I seek the approval of God? -Let me take it a step further and ask this, do I fear offending man more than I fear offending and grieving the heart of the Lord?

Proverbs 8:13 -The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.

Proverbs 9:10 -“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Proverbs 10:27 -The fear of the LORD prolongs days, But the years of the wicked will be shortened.

Proverbs 14:26–27 -26 In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge. 27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.