New King James Version
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.
Galatians 1:10, NLT: “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.”
Galatians makes us study ourselves looking into our souls asking ourselves a very important observation question…
Am I personally looking and seeking approval from men or of God? Look within your own soul and ask yourself that question for if we are trying to live for God the answer should be for God not for Man. For a life pleasing to God is not to be approved by or appealing to Man it should not be as a show to man for enjoyment. It should be accepting and pleasing to God as Christ himself lived for if it appeals to man and is a show for man most cases you are still living in the world and sin and not for God. Your most likely worried about what others think or say about you. If you live for God it will not mater what man thinks and God is the only approval needed to be pleasing and honor God.
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 in the Church, but were deliberately seeking to discredit Paul, and the unique ministry and mission, to which he had been commission, by the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself.
To put it bluntly, the spirit of antichrist had infected the 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?
The strong denunciation of this false teaching, and the bitter attacks against those that were determined to bring the body of Christ, under the curse of the Law, demonstrated that Paul 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 questions: 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, that from Paul’s dynamic dialogue, he was being accused.. that preaching freedom from the law gave Christians a license to sin, which is 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 cause 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 sin 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.
What does Galatians 1:10 mean?
Paul began his letter to the Galatian Christians by telling them again the simple gospel message: Jesus died to pay for our sins and to deliver us (Galatians 1:4). Period. As he expressed it in Ephesians 2:8–9, we are saved by faith through grace, not by any works we do. As he will say later in this letter, to suggest that we must do more to be truly saved is to make Jesus’ death on the cross meaningless (Galatians 2:21).
A group known as the Judaizers had moved in after Paul left. They had begun to convince the Galatian Christians that more was required. To be truly saved, you must also follow the law of Moses. This raises a question: how did they convince these Gentile (non-Jewish) believers Paul was wrong?
For one, they apparently questioned whether Paul was a “real apostle,” something Paul will answer in the following verses. In addition, they seem to have suggested that Paul did not require these Gentiles to follow the law of Moses because he was trying to make everyone happy. They suggested Paul was just a people-pleaser, willing to alter the truth in order to be liked.
Paul now answers that charge: If he were really trying to please men instead of God, would he have just pronounced as cursed anyone who taught a gospel message other than the one he taught them? Look at the evidence, he says. I am not trying to please any man; I am serving Christ and seeking God’s approval. Otherwise, Paul implies, he would simply go along with the Judaizers. He clearly is not doing that.
Galatians 1:6–10 is unusual; Paul’s letters usually open with some kind of praise or thanksgiving for his readers. Not Galatians. He immediately expresses how baffled he is that these people who received the good news about salvation by God’s grace and through faith in Christ have so quickly deserted Christ. Anyone who teaches any other gospel than the one Paul taught to them is cursed and/or will be eternally condemned. Paul points to that harsh statement as evidence that he is not trying to please any men. He serves and lives for the approval of God.
Paul begins his letter to the Galatian churches abruptly, compared to his other writings. He has heard they are deserting the gospel which he preached and they believed: the good news that Jesus died to fully pay for all our sins on the cross. The Judaizers taught that these Gentiles must also follow the law of Moses to be saved and openly questioned Paul’s authority. Paul makes the case that he has been made an apostle by Christ, who appeared to him and revealed the truth to him apart from the other apostles.