1 This letter is from Paul, an apostle. I was not appointed by any group of people or any human authority, but by Jesus Christ himself and by God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead.
2 All the brothers and sisters here join me in sending this letter to the churches of Galatia.
3 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.4 Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live. 5 All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.
There Is Only One Good News
6 I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News 7 but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ.
8 Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you. 9 I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed.
10 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.
In verse 4, Jesus gave his life to rescue me from this evil world. One of the implications of that “rescue” is that I am not to make it my focus to please people. If that were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant (verse 10). What I am called to do as a servant of Christ and as one who seeks to please him, is:
1. I am to be more outspoken regarding Christ. When I don’t do this, it is easy to see that I am in the people pleasing mode;
2. I am to actively seek God’s approval, not people’s approval;
3. In God’s economy, people pleasers have the wrong focus.
4. But it’s not an either/or situation. I will at times seek to please people, but the real issue is that it boils down to being a matter of focus. And that primary focus will reveal how much my heart has changed as a believer. Paul says in Romans 2:29 that “a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.