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“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Man, it can be super easy in today’s world to get sucked into what everyone says is right or wrong.
Even progressive Christians have immensely different views on what God truly wants for us.
This brings us to today’s Wisdom Wednesday question…
How do we know the Gospel? Do God and His truth change?
Does the Gospel Change?
Today we are looking at Galatians. In all of these letters in the New Testament, Paul is writing to the people that make up the church of that area. Usually, it is because they have questions or are not following the teachings and need clarification from an apostle.
Galatians is no different.
What I love about all his letters is how incredibly humble he is. He is so honest about his shortcomings, his past, and his need for Jesus.
In chapter 1, he speaks to them about the gospel. What is the Gospel? It is the good news that Jesus brought our salvation and God’s grace and love.
He warns the people of Galatia not to distort the gospel, even so far as to not change if an angel from heaven should preach a contrary gospel. All you exmos who didn’t know that one are saying wow right now.
Do not Follow the Approval of Man
How does the gospel get distorted? How does the truth of grace and love get twisted into something it is not?
The approval of man.
That is today’s verse. Paul says it plainly- “…If I were still trying to please man I would not be a servant of Christ.” Gal 1:10.
How many of us do this? How many churches continue to do this? Socially, things change and so to make everyone happy and receive the approval of being right without peers we make changes with no regard for God’s word, just the approval of others. Nobody wants to be labeled as unaccepting.
But if we don’t know God, if we don’t read His word, if we don’t take the time to pour into and know His gospel then how are we to know when we are seeking the approval of man, not God’s peace?
It is easy to get tripped up and swept into modern trends and culture.
Personal Revelation- Does God Speak to Each of Us with the Same Message?
Let’s look at the next chapter just a bit.
“Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. I went up because of a revelation and set before them …the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain…On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles),”
His Message to Me
When I first came to Jesus, it was just me in my living room at 12:30 in the morning. It was my surrender and His peace. The biggest thing God told me in that moment, the huge realization was that regardless of what man had been telling me in all the self-help junk I was NOT enough. I would never be enough to straighten out my life and ‘fix’ all the problems and kinks along the way. I would never be able to do it ALL as I had been told. I was not enough.
BUT He is!
This was clearer to me than anything I have ever known in my life. He was big enough to do anything. I not only don’t have to be but I was never supposed to be. I am supposed to lean on Him, not my own understanding.
The cool thing- He didn’t just tell me this.
This is His message in the Bible and to all His adopted family when they come to Him. There are whole books on this.
No one had told me this. I hadn’t been attending any church. This was from God, and it is His message to all. It is Gospel.
Paul wondered the same thing…
In chapter two, Paul says that He wanted to make sure he was not or had not run in vain. Was the gospel as He knew it from God in line with Peter and the other apostles.
The One who worked through Peter also worked through Paul.
This is super cool because it isn’t like they had cell phones where they could chat with each other and make sure they were all on the same page.
No, they had to trust God, and God doesn’t change.
Moving forward with Wisdom…
As we move forward today with our views, our beliefs, and our gospel, let’s reflect on that gospel. Does God change? Are we getting to know His true gospel through His word? Are we listening to Him. Are we living and doing what Jesus would want for our life, or are we just tired of fighting the social norm and seeking the approval of man? Are we pleasing man, or are we a servant of Christ?