Paul’s letter to the church at Galatia is both passionate and admonishing at the same time. He begins it in Chapter 1 with:
a firm declaration of his credentials. He is a servant, more specifically an Apostle, (messenger) specifically chosen and sent by Christ. v.1-2
It is written to all the churches in Galatia not just one specific church, v.3-5.
He is amazed, disappointed and calls them out for being so easily swayed from the true Gospel, saying anyone who preaching a false Gospel is to be condemned (cursed) by their own words. v.6-9
Paul’s love and concern for the churches of Galatia can surely be seen in the manner in which he addresses this issue. He does not attack the people of the Church but the bearers of the False Gospel. Then he makes the statement in our main text…
For do I now persuade men, or God? – Paul makes the case why am I writing to you to persuade God of these things? Is there a need to persuade God, to convince the all-knowing, God? If so He does not deserved to be called God and glorified as such. No Paul says clearly I am writing to Persuade, convince you Galatians, that there is only one True Gospel.
or do seek to please men? – Or maybe you think I write to please you and get accolades from you? NEVER!!! Here Paul makes it clear His intent was not to seek the accolades of the Galatians or anyone else.
for if I yet pleased men, – Paul had once studied (prior to his conversion) to please man. As a Jewish leader he was expected to fall in line with “party line” of the day. After his meeting with Christ on the Road to Damascus Saul was forever changed, a new creation Paul was now not seeking the approval of man but of God only.
I should not be the servant of Christ. – Here is the pinnacle of Paul’s argument. He says ‘one cannot serve Christ while seeking the approval of man.’ This should sound very familiar to all of us, in Acts 5:29 Peter said we must obey God rather than man.
While getting acknowledged for going well, is in itself not a bad thing, the reason you did something matters. Paul is making the case that he is not admonishing the Galatians to bring praise upon himself, but to bring Glory to God. He seeks not their approval to do this, but God’s.
While we may not run into a situation like Paul where we need to scold an entire region for their lackluster adherence to the True Gospel; none the less the same message applies to us daily. Whom do you seek to please, men or God? 1 Corinthians 10:31 says we are to do everything, even eat to God’s glory. A very similar passage can be found in Colossians 3:17 here again Paul reminds us to do all for Christ for we are dependent upon His salvation.
In yesterday’s devotional, Known Fruit, we discussed how you can know if someone is truly saved by the Fruit they bear. One way to insure you are a Fruit Bearer is to always insure Who’s Approval you are seeking; God or Mans.