Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pleasing God

Let’s look at Galatians 1:8-9 where it says, “But 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. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” It doesn’t matter who preaches it. If it is contrary to the Bible and the gospel it contains, it’s wrong. And the messenger of that wrong gospel will be judged. It sad, but so many of the ignorant can be deceived today just because the person who says it looks religious.

We see examples of this in the Bible. One such example is in the book of Job when he was speaking with Eliphez where it says, “Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof. In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men, Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake. Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up: It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying, Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker? (Job 4:12-17). The spirit supposedly revealed to Eliphaz that Job was not just before God. It sounded very spiritual, but it was completely off base (Job 1:1).

Another example is found in the story of the old and young prophet in 1 Kings 13:1-26. Take a look at it and see how the old prophet misled the young prophets claiming to hear from the Lord.

Yet another example happened in 1823 when an angel appeared to a guy named Joe who lived in New York. While Joe lay in bed, this angel revealed to him where he would find a new revelation. The new revelation was inscribed on golden plates, called the plates of Mormon. And Joseph whose full name was Joseph Smith, Jr. became the founder of one of the largest cults today - the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He claimed to have a supernatural message - but it wasn't from God.

We have seen a spirit, a prophet and an angel. All of them bearers of different gospels; deceiving those who heard their messages. All cursed, “set aside for destruction” or “a detested thing.” There is no greater doctrine that we must maintain the purity of than salvation by grace.

Notice, v.10, “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.” The word “persuade” means to “make a friend of” or to “seek the favor of”. An example of this is found in I Thessalonians 2:4 where Paul says, “But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.” Pleasing God should be the top priority in our lives. Pleasing Him comes before pleasing others and even ourselves. We must come to grips with the fact that the preaching of the gospel is not pleasing to lost man and it never will be.

Notice “the servant of Christ.” A bond-servant was no ordinary servant. The Old Testament Law stated that all Hebrew slaves where to be set free after six years of service. However, there were times when the slave decided to stay with his master for one reason or another (Ex. 21:2, 5-6). Thus the slave/servant would become a bondslave/servant. In Romans 6:22 Paul said, “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” He realized that the “freedom” that he had in the world was nothing to be compared with the “slavery” he had in Christ.

Notice vv.11-12, “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Paul is telling them that the true gospel did not come from men but God.

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