For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.Galatians 1:10(NASB)
The Galatian Christians were being targeted by legalistic Jews who were not only spreading a fabricated gospel, a distorted doctrine, and a false Christ to Christians, but were deliberately seeking to discredit Paul and the unique ministry and mission to which he had been commissioned by the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself.
To put it bluntly, the spirit of antichrist had infected this church... and doctrines of demons had been systematically infiltrating the Christians there, until Paul was forced to cry out, "OH, you foolish Galatians!! Who has bewitched you?"
Paul's strong denunciation of this false teaching and his bitter attacks against those that were determined to bring the Body of Christ under the curse of the Law, demonstrated that he was never going to be intimidated by his accusers nor was he prepared to compromise the truth of the glorious gospel of Christ - and neither should we!
Paul could justifiably ask the question, "Am I now seeking the favour of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ."
If Paul was attempting to be a man-pleaser, he would not be so openly hostile towards the Judaizes... nor would he castigate the ungodly doctrines they taught so forcefully. No bond-servant of Christ can ever continue to be a man-pleaser, for to do so is to discredit the Lord Who bought them and to trample on the blood of Christ which was shed for us all at Calvary.
It seems, from Paul's dynamic dialogue, that they were accusing him that his preaching of freedom from the law was giving Christians a license to sin. This was untrue and was diametrically opposite of Paul's glorious gospel of grace and the ministry to which he had been called. New Testament teachings to the Church on how to live are very clear and never give believers a licence to sin. We are called to be saved by grace through faith but we are also to live by grace through faith as we apply the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus in our everyday lives.
Paul was commissioned to teach the post-Cross doctrine of grace to the Church, and not the pre-Cross restrictions of the Law to Israel. The post-Cross doctrine of grace is for believers in the Church. The pre-Cross restrictions of the Law were for believers in Israel.
There is no way that any man-pleaser would castigate his followers in the way that Paul did. Indeed, he was passionately against the legalistic teachings and the unchristian doctrines that these Judaizes taught, which caused Paul to launch an anathema against them: "Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed," was his blistering pronouncement. A curse on those who teach a false Christianity, was Paul's denunciation - a curse on those that teach a licence to sin as well as those that endorse legalism.
If Paul, in these early days of the Church, was so viciously attacked by these legalistic, Pharisaic teachers who deliberately tied up heavy legalistic burdens on men's shoulders in order to entrap them, manipulate them, enslave them, and place them back under the curse of the Law... how much more do we, in these closing days of Christendom, need to be equally vigilant in our defence of the glorious gospel of God - for Christ died for our sins and rose again the third day so that by faith in His sacrificial work on the Cross and glorious Resurrection, we have been freed from the curse of the Law - which is death - and have been born anew where we walk in spirit and truth under the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
Heavenly Father, as I continue to read through the book of Galatians and realise the terrible consequences of going back under legalistic rules and regulations which seem to be practiced by so many in Christendom today, I thank You that I have been set free from the law of sin and death and pray that I may walk in newness of life to Your praise and glory, as I apply all that You would teach me through Your Word. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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