TEXT: Galatians 1:10-16
The Saving Gospel, the Work of Christ, what He has done for the whole world, and what that generates and creates in our lives. It is the Gospel that saves, and it is authoritative which was given to Paul the Apostle. And there is power and authority behind that Gospel.
1. PLEASING THE SUPREME GOD AS SAINTS IN CHRIST
As Children of God, saints in Christ, we are to please God. “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10). Here Paul reveals to us that his own goal and purpose in life to please God.
(i) The Demand to Please God above Men – Galatians 1:10; Matthew 17:5; Acts 3:22-23,26; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.
What a revelation, that to be a servant of Christ and a preacher of the saving gospel, we must concentrate on pleasing God rather than any man. If our goal is to please men, then we are not servants of Christ. “While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” (Matthew 17:5). Our Lord Jesus Christ, our Perfect Example pleased the Father in heaven all the time while He was on earth in everything; big, small, great, when He was strong, weak, wearied, tired, hungered; He desired to please God, and the Father testified to this. As the Lord Jesus Christ has pleased the Father, God said that we should hear Him. And today, the Lord wants us to look at Christ, our Example, to hear and please the Father through Christ. And if anyone will not hear Him, that person will God destroy from among the people (Acts 3:22-23). The Lord Jesus Christ came to do the Will of the Father, that He gave Himself as the Perfect Sacrifice for our sins, and the Lord God wants us to hear Him (Acts 3:26). God demands that we should hear and stand in the gospel of Christ. What we delivered, preached, and proclaimed, should be
that which we have received. And God demands that if we are going to please the Lord, we are to receive and proclaim everything that we have got from the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
(ii) The Devotion to Pleasing God rather than Men – Acts 4:12,18-20; 5:28-32; 1 Thessalonians 2:4-6; Ephesians 6:6-8.
When we are saved, our attention and affection come upon the Lord, and we are devoted, committed, and consecrated to Him in everything. Why? Because He is the Only Saviour, Sanctifier, One that can take us from earth to heaven, and the Only Fountain and Source of all blessings. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). He has done what no other man can do. And it is only through that blood that He shed that we can be saved. And because of that our dedication and consecration should be devoted wholly unto Him. They have been warned, persecuted, laid hands on them, and imprisoned them, and yet they kept on preaching because of their devotion unto God. If they could do that under such great persecution and pressure, how much more of us today living in a free world, we are to fill our cities and countries with this saving Gospel of Christ. When we are saved, there is an internal change and transformation of heart, and this makes us devote ourselves unto the Lord just like Peter the Apostle, who received this great transformation that he was able to speak boldly to please the Lord, “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
Pray that this same courage, power, steadfastness, and stability will come to every one of us, to know that God is the Only One to obey. “And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him” (Acts 5:32). As God has chosen and put us in trust with the gospel, even so, we speak and give the honour to God Who has favoured and sent us forth, we speak not as pleasing men, but to please God (1 Thessalonians 2:4). Fear of men will make us fall as a slave, submit, and surrender the good things we have into the hands of men, that we become afraid of men. When you please men, you are seeking the glory of them (1 Thessalonians 2:5-6). Pray that this kind of heart, spirit and soul that is devoted unto God, the Lord will give to every one of us in Jesus Name.
(iii) The Damnation for not Pleasing God but Men – Romans 8:5-8; 1 Corinthians 10:5-11; 1 Thessalonians 2:15-16; Hebrews 11:6.
Those who reduced their God to nothing, the Almighty, Creator, Eternal One, the Judge of all things, they reduced Him to nothing, and magnify man to such a big personality, for such people who so minimises God and magnify
man, there will be damnation for them. “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:6-8). All those people who are so clued to the flesh, that they minimise God, and magnify man, cannot please God until there is conversion and salvation, and their minds are severed from the flesh and the man that they feared. “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5). Understand that Enoch was not the only man on earth at that time. There were wicked, fierce, evil men, and yet he had a testimony that he pleased God. If God can have this testimony about you, that men may try to pressure you vehemently and violently to please men, but you centre your devotion alone to please God, then the Lord will have the same testimony about you. Without faith for salvation, righteousness, you
cannot please God. Faith to know that even though you cannot see God, He is always there with you in that place, then it is that faith that makes you focus on God, have your affection on God, to keep your integrity on God, to trust Him all the time, that keeps you in holiness of heart and mind, that is the faith that pleases God. That though God is Invisible, yet He sees you, and He is always there with you, that is the faith that pleases God, and that is the faith He wants us to live by so that we can escape the damnation of the sinners who please the flesh, and do not please God.
2. PREACHING THE SAVING GOSPEL AS SERVANTS OF CHRIST
Firstly, we are to please God, and then we can preach the Gospel. Paul the Apostle was unique, the Gospel was given and revealed to Him by Christ, “For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:12). So, he was telling the Galatians, that if they rejected, neglected that gospel that he preached, they are not rejecting Paul, but Jesus Christ Who gave him the revelation. How could they profess to be saved and transformed by Christ, how could they belittle and reject the message of Christ?
(i) Revelation of the Gospel, the Truth from Christ – Galatians 1:11-12; Ephesians 3:3-8; Romans 16:25-27; 1:16-17.
The same grace, skill, strength, and ability that God gave to Paul to preach the gospel in his days, we can have that same power and grace today, “Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power” (Ephesians 3:7). The Lord will do it for us to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ (Ephesians 3:8). It is fear that makes people ashamed to preach the gospel, it is fearing men above God that makes people ashamed, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
(ii) Redemption by God, taught through Christ – Romans 3:24-26; Ephesians 1:7-9; Hebrews 9:12-15; 1 Peter 1:18-19.
“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” (Romans 3:25). It is the blood of Jesus that cancels and washes away our sins. And the blood of Jesus still washes whiter than snow (Romans 3:26).
(iii) Recipients of Grace, Transformed by Christ – Romans 6:1-15; Galatians 2:20-21; 2 Corinthians 6:1,17-18; Hebrews 12:14-15.
We receive the grace of God, and that grace of God turns around our lives. We are the recipients of the grace of God, and therefore, our lives are changed and transformed by the Lord Himself, “Knowing this, that our old man is
crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:6,11).
3. PERSONIFYING THE SAME GRACE, SEPARATED UNTO CHRIST
Paul spent all his life and gains to persecute the Church of Christ, which he trampled the Church under (Galatians 1:13). But see the power of the grace of God, that could change such a man that persecuted the church greatly, to now preach the gospel which he persecuted in time past. “For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:” (Galatians 1:16). He did not consult with men when the revelation came to him, and that immediately he ran with the vision. Some people cannot take the sole decision to serve the Lord and run with His vision. Pray that this same grace that transformed the life of Paul the Apostle will be given unto us, that we will not consult with men to do the Will of the Heavenly
(i) Insensitive Religious, Graceless Character in Sin – Galatians 1:13-14; Acts 22:4-5; 26:9-11; 1 Timothy 1:13-15.
“For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:” (Galatians 1:13). He was persecuting not church buildings, but people. That he was
insensitive to their pains and agonies. This is what religion does to people, that makes people insensitive to the pains of other people. That is graceless religion that will take people to hell fire. People that are bent on traditions not on righteousness, that they can make a man desire death rather life, those people are not saved (Galatians 1:14). He injured people in their faith, made them blaspheme, made them abandon their houses, and ran away, but then he
repented, and the Lord show him mercy (1 Timothy 1:13-16). Pray that the Lord shows us His mercies in Jesus Name.
(ii) Indispensable Repentance for Glorious Conversion by the Saviour – Galatians 1:15-16; Acts 9:3-6,9,15-20; 17:30-31; 20:20-21.
Paul the Apostle did all things in ignorance. He thought Judaism was the way, so all the people that turned unto the Lord for salvation and transformation of lives, he thought that they were wrong. But when the Lord came to him, he repented and that brought him to salvation and a new life in Christ. The same thing happened to us, in the times of our ignorance, that we fought against the gospel. But when repented, we receive His salvation and forgiveness, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: Because he hath
appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31). Repentance, remission of sins, faith in Christ, new life in Christ, walking and living in faith, being committed unto the Lord, to be
steadfast and not to go back, the word of God given by the Spirit of God is profitable to everyone coming to Christ. “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). Repentance is indispensable to everyone that is deep in religion and needs His salvation and
forgiveness of sins.
(iii) Immediate Response to God’s Call to Service – Galatians 1:15-16; Acts 26:15-20; 9:17-22; 16:9-10. “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:” (Galatians 1:15-16). Call me into salvation, the holiness of life, righteousness, forgiveness and service, all by His grace. Paul the Apostle obeyed the Lord immediately, promptly, and without any consultation with men. We are expected to look inwards to obey the Lord, not to ask any man. His obedience was prompt, explicit and clear, total, and complete, and was thorough that all could see the change in him. At the beginning of his conversion, immediately, and later in life and ministry, that prompt, unwavering and immediate obedience had not left him, “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord
had called us for to preach the gospel unto them (Acts 16:9-10).
The Lord has revealed to us how Paul the Apostle received the gospel and his immediate response, and that same grace and power of the gospel has come to you today, that we should rise to take this same gospel and declare to all men. And the same power, grace that was sufficient to him, will be sufficient unto us. Minimise men and magnify the Lord, to obey the Lord without any fear of men, and that same grace will never fail in your life in Jesus Name.