Paul Exposes His Adversaries

“What must I forsake?” a young man asked. “Colored clothes for one thing. Get rid of everything in your wardrobe that is not white. Stop sleeping on a soft pillow. Sell your musical instruments and don’t eat any more white bread. You cannot, if you are sincere abou … More


The Galatian Christians were told by false legalistic teachers that salvation was grace, “plus” works. The Judaizers claimed to be preaching “the Gospel” but like certain groups today they were saying “We believe in Jesus Christ, but we have something wonderful to add to what you already believe.” They were actually teaching that we are saved by grace and then kept by works. Paul was shocked and expresses his anxiety that these Galatians were abandoning liberty for legalism (vv. 6-7). They were not simply changing churches or religions but were abandoning the grace of God. Paul exposes his adversaries by calling down judgment upon anyone who preached “any other gospel” (vv. 8-9). He did this because he loved the truth and because he loved those whom he had led to Christ.

These Judaizers were also accusing Paul of being a compromiser. They said, When Paul is with the Jews he lives like a Jew and when he is with the Gentiles he lives like a Gentile. He is just a man-pleaser, therefore, you cannot please him. Paul answers this with two questions and a statement.  “For now do I 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” (v. 10). It is true that a servant of God is constantly tempted to compromise and please men but Paul did not “play politics” by seeking either the approval or disapproval of men. All he wanted to please was Christ (II Cor. 5:9). Paul had to speak harshly to the Christians in Galatia because they were in error. He did not apologize for his straightforward words knowing that he could not be faithful to the Lord and not correct them in their error.

Are you seeking God’s approval or others?  Seek His approval above everyone else.


What are some groups I know that have added to the grace of God? An example would be those who say that water baptism is a requirement for salvation. It is important that I know what I believe and why, based on the Word of God. (John 1:12, Eph. 2:8-9 etc.)

Galatians 1:6-10 (English Standard Version)

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

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