Friday, July 15, 2011
Am I Trying to Please Man?
“Am I trying to please man?” (Galatians 1:10)
Christian, this is a question we should ask often: “Am I trying to please man?” Are you still seeking the approval of what others think about you? When it comes to compromising the gospel seeking man’s approval is a dangerous place to be. We should strive for hearts that seek to please God rather than man.
The churches of Galatia had the one true gospel, by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, yet when false teachers came into their midst they began to question the gospel. Judiazers had come in to teach them that salvation in Christ alone was not sufficient but that circumcision was also required. This brought in a works based righteousness which had nothing to do with the God’s grace which Paul had preached to them. A works based salvation brings in an emphasis on the work man has to do in order to earn favor with God. This is common today. We tend to think that our times in the Word, prayer, Bible studies, church, baptism and so the list could go on, bring us into a right relationship with God. We think our status is greater because of the things we do rather than what Christ has done. This is foolishness.
Paul asks the question, “Am I trying to please man?” because he is preaching the true gospel of Christ which crushes the pride of man. The gospel says that man has no ability in himself to come to Christ. The gospel says that man is totally depraved. The gospel says that man has nothing to offer to God besides his sin. The gospel says that God, in his love, sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to come and die in our place. There was no other option. Christ had to come and he had to die in our place. He was the only one who could be our substitute. He obeyed his Father perfectly so he could be the unblemished lamb to die an atoning death on the cross. On the cross he bore our wrath and took upon himself our sins. Then three days later he resurrected from the dead proving that he is God. He conquered sin and death for good in order to save sinners. Adding anything to Christ’s work is rejecting that his death and resurrection was sufficient to justify sinners. This is the gospel Paul preached and it is not a gospel that seeks the approval of man.
Following his questions about seeking the approval of man Paul says, “For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ” (11-12). Salvation is the work of God alone. Keeping this truth in mind will alter how we live and who we life for. Why would we seek the approval of man when the God of the universe crushed his Son in order to bring us true, everlasting life? Sadly the fact that we, as followers of Jesus Christ, do seek the approval of man reveals the depths of our depravity but also shows us the great love of the Father to send his Son to reconcile us to himself.
Whose approval are you seeking? Do you care more about what others think about you or what God thinks about you? We can always hide who we are in order to please other men but we can never hide who we are to God. He knows our motives, thoughts, attitudes and actions. He is our Creator. He does not need our approval but we do need his. His approval is based on the work Christ accomplished. It is amazing how God’s grace works. To him be the glory.
Grace upon grace,
Next week I will be out with a team from our church on a mission's trip so I will not be blogging. Please be praying for our team as we have the honor to go out and proclaim the gospel to our city.