Pleasing God over People

How do false teachings, false gospels, and misleading doctrine develop? People pleasing. Paul actually addresses this in Galatians 1. Paul encountered a false gospel in Galatia and he had to remind Jesus followers about their central message.

Galatians 1:6-10

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

In context, there were Judaizers or Jewish Christians that were mixing belief systems into one. They were melding the works based Jewish beliefs with the grace beliefs of Christ followers. The result… a false gospel, or as Paul puts it “no gospel at all”.

The message of the Bible is simple, because we are simple. And as Paul reminded the Galatian believers there is one way. It is through Jesus. Paul takes the opportunity to proclaim the doctrine of justification by faith alone.

But what I find most significant is how Paul ends that section of text. He hits on people pleasing.

Think about.

Why would we, or anyone, change what the Bible says to accomadate what people want to hear?

To please people.

In short, we have a tendency to  fear what man thinks over what God thinks. We may not think that, but our actions say otherwise.

As believers we are called to hold fast to true doctrine [Titus 1:9]. Why? Because we are prone to wander, prone to leave the God we love. I have seen this heavily in the Charismatic church, but it is prevalent throughout. Where emotion leads, false teachings typically follow. If you are prone to following your emotions, you are prone to being led astray. At the core of our being is the want of praise and adoration from man, and because of this we tend to bend, twist or “pervert” the Gospel to fit what our followers want to hear, rather that what the Bible says.

Think culture hasn’t affected our doctrine? Think again.

If Paul visited us he would address this as well. Not only to the religious elite who add works on top of salvation, but to the zealot who abuses grace and labels it as liberal theology. We are told to hold firm to right doctrine so that we don’t add or detract from the Gospel.

Paul used strong words, actually cursing those who would lead people astray with false teachings. Why? Because that person has put a stumbling block in their path, causing them to sin against the Lord and potentially rejecting Him overall.

This is a call for those who understand what I am saying to continue to hold their ground and stand firm for the truth. To hold fast for the Gospel. And to continue to preach and share the pure, undefiled message of Jesus Christ.

“For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.”  – Romans 3:23

“For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” – John 3:36

Be encouraged you who hold to the truth. It takes more courage and humility [real humility not false humility] to stand and defend, rather than attack and destroy. Stand strong and keep fighting.

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