February 6, 2012

Back to Basics

Part Six

Bond-Servant of Christ

Galatians 1:10, Page 1819

If you do not recall a day in your life when you received eternal life as a free gift from Jesus, then this article will not make sense to you. Please click the eternal life button now and learn more about finding peace with God and being born again today.

Eternal Life

      Paul has challenged the Galatians regarding their desertion from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the disturbing influences of false teachers proclaiming false doctrine.  Paul warned the Galatians that even an angel from God, who preaches a gospel different from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which Paul delivered to the them, must be accursed.  Paul clearly demarcated the line between truth and error, and said the message always trumps the messenger.   Today we will study the Bible and see that Paul did not strive to please men, but always considered himself a bond-servant of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 1:10, Favor of Men
For am I now seeking to 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.

       The Favor of Men.   In Galatians 1:10, Paul contrasted the favor of men with the favor of God.  Paul talked about his motives.  Was he motivated to seek the favor (“πείθω”) of men, or of God?  In this context, Paul has discussed the false teachers who have distorted the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, and disturbed the Galatians with their false gospel, which was really no gospel at all.  Paul then turned to his own motives, and by implication, the motives of the false teachers.  Paul reminded the Galatians that while some teachers may depend upon the approval of other men for their teaching, Paul was not seeking the approval of any man.  Paul also implied that some teachers chose the favor of men over the favor of God.  Remember the basics: in Galatians 1:1, Paul identified himself first and foremost as an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God.  We always need to keep in mind who we are and what we are like.  First and foremost, we are children of God by faith in Jesus Christ.  Our faith in Christ not only saved us in a moment of time, but our faith also provides the foundation and means for daily living in Christ.  By faith we live in Jesus.  While the false teachers add other requirements to faith for salvation, Paul always rejected such additions.  Paul used the spiritual gift of apostleship to promote the purposes of God.  Because every single believer received a spiritual gift at the moment of salvation, each believer has a life long duty to use that spiritual gift for the glory of God each day.  Basic Christianity means we use our gifts to His glory, and we seek to implement God’s will each day, regardless of where that decision may lead us relative to the favor of men.  In other words, when it comes to the choice between seeking the favor of men, especially religious leaders, or, in the alternative, seeking the favor of God, we must always seek the favor of God, and ignore the religious leaders who would lead us away from God.  Consider the example of Jesus.  In Matthew 22:16,  we read that Jesus had the reputation of: (1) being truthful; (2) teaching the way of God; (3) not being partial to anyone; and (4) deferring to no one (of course, we recognize that some enemies ingratiate themselves with their words, which they do not mean).  Likewise, in James 2:1-6,  we read that Christians should not hold their faith with personal favoritism.  Believers must not give special attention to the rich, but must honor the poor men.  Paul understood that basically he was an apostle, sent to the Gentiles, to preach salvation by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).  Like Paul, we need to stick to our basic calling, keeping our attention upon seeking the favor of God, and not men, no matter how rich or powerful they may be.  We use our spiritual gifts to the glory of God not men.  We stick to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and add nothing to it, even if an angel of God were to appear and encourage us to adopt another gospel.

     Striving To Please Men.  In Galatians 1:10, Paul continued his examination of motives.  He moved the focus to striving “to please” men.  This term “to please” (“ἀρέσκειν”) means to please in the sense of giving satisfaction, or acting to receive approval from another person.  In this case, we know that God always tests the motives of our actions (1 Corinthians 4:5).  If we are acting out of fear because of religious leaders (see, for example, Joseph of Arimathea, John 19:38; see also John 9:22), then we are not putting God first in our lives.  We are succumbing to fear (see Peter’s hypocrisy and fear, Galatians  2:12).  When we start to strive to please men, and not God, then we have moved away from basic Christianity.  Paul always taught believers to avoid being merely “men pleasers,” but we must be slaves who do the will of God from the heart (Ephesians 6:6).

       Bond-Servant of Jesus Christ.  In Galatians 1:10, Paul described himself as a bond-servant of Jesus Christ.  In other words, Paul used a common word for slave and applied it to himself.  He considered himself enslaved to Christ, but with absolutely pure motives to please God from the heart.  When we return to basics, we must keep in mind that we are all slaves of Jesus Christ.  He bought us by His precious blood, and we belong to Him alone (1 Peter 1:17-19).  So, in this context, we learn that Paul had a Master, the Lord Jesus Christ.  He constantly strove to please God alone, and not men.  Paul remained immune, like Jesus, to the pressures of other men, and did not concern himself with seeking their approval.  He lived in fear of God, and no one else.

        So we learn more about being a bond-servant of Christ today.

        ● Never seek the favor of men over the favor of God.

        ● Never strive to please men, when you must always please God first and foremost.

        ● Always remember that you are a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, who uses your spiritual gifts by the will of God. 

Application for Today

      As I walk through life today, I am a bond-servant of Jesus Christ.  I will make decisions today based upon pleasing Jesus, not to gain favor with men or submit to their pressures.  Will you be striving to please the Lord Jesus Christ, and not men, today?

 Christ Assembly Basics 

Christ Assembly provides free access to various studies from the Bible, the Word of God. The studies in this website are not inspired, but God produced the Bible, consisting of sixty-nine books (39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament). The Holy Spirit inspired authors to produce original autographs of the Bible in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Those original authors wrote over the course of many centuries. They wrote divinely inspired words and every word was divinely inspired. The authors communicated in their own styles, and with their own vocabulary, but God breathed out every word of the final autographs. The words in the Bible really matter, and deserve careful study. 
As we study, we seek to love Jesus more because His word has instructed us so that we learn His ways. Eternal life consists in knowing God the Father, and Jesus Christ Whom God sent. As the eternal God of Glory, One with His Father, the Son of God took flesh and dwelt among us. Because of His death, He used His blood to purchase our redemption. He was raised for our justification. We now live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved us and gave Himself for us. By the grace of God, the Holy Spirit abides in every born-again believer and fills us with His presence and blessings. He leads us into all truth. Jesus is the truth, and the way, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Jesus, our Lord. 
We look forward to His imminent return to the clouds of earth, to snatch away the believers alive on earth, so that we may be forever with the Lord. When He returns to the clouds, He will bring with Him all those people in Christ who died before His return to the clouds. We encourage one another with the promises of God, Who makes our path grow brighter and brighter, until the full light of day shines forth. We love Jesus and look forward to seeing Him soon. After Jesus removes the believers from the earth, then a terrible period of seven years follows where God brings measured and precise judgments upon the people alive on earth. God cut those days of  Tribulation short, or no flesh would have been saved. Jesus will then return to earth, slay His enemies, and place His feet on the Mount of Olives where He ascended to heaven. He will then reign on earth for a thousand years, and believers will reign with Him. After the Millennial Reign of Christ, all unbelievers will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment, and they will suffer according to their deeds done on earth. They will be cast into the Lake of Fire, a place of torment night and day for eternity, because they never received the free gift of salvation while alive on earth. One day, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God. Today we invite you to come and see Jesus, and learn from Him, for He is gentle and humble in heart. Take His yoke upon you, for His burden is easy and His yoke is light. He will give you rest for your soul as you trust Him. We receive salvation only from Jesus, by faith alone in Jesus, Who gives us the free gift of eternal life. 
We accept the teaching of the Word of God. As born again believers, baptized by Jesus with the Holy Spirit, the anointing from God teaches us all things. We love to study the Word of God as we abide in Christ Jesus our Lord. God blesses all of us when we read His word, hear His word, and heed His word. We share original studies of the Word of God without cost and we do not receive donations. We support the finances of this ministry through private means, so that we are not a burden to anyone. We oppose charging people to read books, articles, journals or other studies of the Word of God. Such work should be supported by donations, but not in prescribed amounts and not as a requirement to gain access to what God has freely provided. What God has freely given, we should freely share. Just as Paul worked making tents, so we work to support this ministry. 

 Christ Assembly License

The author of all original material on this website retains all legal and equitable rights to the properties at issue. The author granted Christ Assembly a limited-use, revocable license to publish material on this website, while reserving all ownership rights to the original author. You may use any original material on this website to the glory of God, but you may not receive anything of value for such use. You may not receive any donations related to any original material on this website. All use of original material on this website is subject to the revocable, limited license above. You must conspicuously indicate on any use of the original material that it originated from  Any revocation of the license shall be posted on this website and all rights to use material may be revoked without prior notice. By copying and using any original material from this website, you consent to such license. Christ Assembly opposes any payment for access to studies, articles, journals, or other publications of studies concerning the Word of God. As God has freely given, so also the products of His grace should be freely shared.