September 18

Galatians 1:4,9-10 ...Jesus Christ, 4who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,

9As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! 10Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Paul had to encourage the churches that he founded to stay true to the Gospel that he first preached to them. In this introduction of his letter to the Galatians, he tells them that it was not something he made up. He threw Christians in jail before he was confronted by Christ. This Gospel is the real thing, so don't let people or even an angel tell you otherwise. Paul will later explain that the other gospel being preached declared we must try to please God by keeping the rules of the Law. Paul knew the new covenant was all about grace given to us through what Jesus did for us. He gives his own experience as a verification of that fact.

He sums up the Gospel in verse 4. Jesus Christ gave Himself for our sins. He took our punishment. He paid it all. Not only does that make us right with God, but it also rescues us from this present evil age. Many seek salvation from judgment but don't see the need to be rescued from their present depravity. They don't see it as depravity. Living a self-centered life apart from God is thumbing your nose at your Creator. It is telling God that your will comes first. It is insisting that you remain god of your life. He gave Himself for our sin, but true deliverance from sin also delivers us from the present evil age.

Paul insisted that what he is telling the Galatians was an effort to be faithful to God. He could just go along with men who insist on teaching a corrupt gospel, but that would make him a servant of men and not of Christ. He was willing to go against the flow, take the persecution, and stand up and be different because he was Christ's servant. Pleasing men rather than God is compromise.

Remember: When faced with pleasing men or staying true to the Gospel of grace, we should stay true to God no matter what the cost may be.