Pleasing Everyone Pleases None.
I have spent most of my life trying to please others only to end up not pleasing anyone. It can be idolatry in our hearts when we care more about what man thinks than what God does. We can try so hard to make others happy, but the irony is that trying to please everyone will keep us from pleasing God. Pleasing everyone pleases none.
We are starting the book of Galatians 1-3. You know what that means! I am going to provide a little background so we can know the historical and cultural factors that play into our interpretation and understanding of this letter to the Church at Galatia.
This is from the Easy English Bible commentary:
“Galatia was part of the country that we now call Turkey. Most of the people who lived in Galatia were Gentiles. Paul had visited the region at least twice. He had preached the good news about Jesus and many people became Christians. Upon arriving back in Antioch from his first missionary journey after eighteen months on the road, Paul received a report that the churches he had started in Galatia had fallen into hard times—specifically, they had fallen into error. A group of Judaizers—those who sought to make living under the Mosaic Law a requirement of the Christian faith—had gained an influence in the Galatian churches. Paul wrote the book a few months before his attendance at the Jerusalem Council in AD 49, a meeting where the apostles would take up this very topic (Acts 15:1–30).”
Adding Rules Does Not Add Righteousness.
Whenever we try to add to the word of God, we create stumbling blocks for people trying to follow God, not man-made rules. The Jews were teaching that the gentiles needed to follow the Law in order to be saved. Paul was so passionate because the new believers were falling away from the simple message of grace.
Paul opens the letter in Galatians 1:1-5 with a clear thesis statement. He defines how he was called and a clear description of how we are saved.
“Paul, an apostle—not from men or by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers who are with me: To the churches of Galatia. 3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father. 5 To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Paul had been a Pharisee himself and persecuted believers. He knew the Law and lived by it. But then he met Christ and found grace. Paul reminds the Galatians that we don’t look to man to define our righteousness or relationship with God.
Scripture of the Day: 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.”
Pleasing Everyone Pleases None—But Pleasing God Pleases All.
We cannot serve God and live to please man. There will be a moment of crisis where we have to choose who we obey. Paul reminds the church of Galatia that the only true Gospel is God’s.
In Galatians 2:16 CSB, Paul said, “And yet because we know that a person is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we ourselves have believed in Christ Jesus. This was so that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no human being will be justified.”
Justified by Faith.
Justified. Just. As. if. We. Never. Sinned. Works of the law cannot justify us because the Bible says that no one could completely keep the Law. Paul writes about no one being justified by the Law in Galatians 3:11, “So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” And in Romans 3:20, “For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.”
The Law Revealed Our Need.
The Law revealed our need for salvation and faith in Christ’s fulfillment of the Law is where we find our justification.
Today we have hundreds of denominations according to several sources. Each of these denominations can be prone to thinking that their doctrine is “the doctrine”. There are true Christians in many denominations and there is no perfect denomination, but that does not mean we don’t seek to have solid doctrine based on the Bible.
Living to Please God
In Galatians 2:20-21, “20 I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.
When we recognize that we no longer need to live for self, we seek to live to please God instead of living for our flesh or others. Pleasing everyone pleases none but living to please God pleases the One who matters.
- Trying to please all pleases no one.
- Our righteousness is not achieved by good works or following the Law, but by the grace of God alone.
- We don’t look to man to define our righteousness or relationship with God.
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan
Day #154: Galatians 1-3
Scripture of the Day: Galatians 1:10
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