TEXT: GAL. 1: 10
Despite several warnings in the bible that man should do something pleasant in matters of services to God, man still want praises for himself and also receive that of God. Again, because God is not seen with the physical eyes to get reward immediately from him, we do something we have been warned not to do, something we cannot do to man.
Listen to the Apostles: then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, we ought to obey God rather than man. Acts 5: 29 (That is to do something that is pleasing God rather than to please man). In the physical or spiritual matters, man do always please a fellow man like him. Paul saw this among some teachers in the Church at Galatia; hence he observed and put this topic of discussion in a form of a question.
For do I now persuade men or God..? or do I seek to please men? For if I yet please men, I should not be a servant of Christ. It is quite easy to seek to please men rather than God for so many reasons.
- Cheap popularity
- Not able to interpret the scripture
- Not able to work alone without what is known to them as cabal in the organisation or even church
- For favour
- It is my brother/ sister
- He is my senior in place of work (boss)
- My best friend
- My neighbour
- My uncle/aunt
- He/She is my Landlord/Landlady
This can be so unpleasant if care is not taken.
Some examples of those who became men pleasers and reasons.
(a) People at Christ’s earthly ministries
Some chief rulers: nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees, they did not confess Him lest, they should be put out of the synagogue – John 12: 42
(b) The parents of the blind boy
These words spoke his parents, because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. John 9: 22.
(c) During Paul’s trial
But after the years Pontius Festus came into Felix room and Felix willing to show (desiring to gain favour with) the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound (in bonds) Acts 24: 27
FESTUS: DURING PAUL’S TRIAL BEFORE HIM
But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure (desiring to gain favour with the Jews) answered Paul and said, will thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me. Acts 25: 9
Paul contending with the Judaising and false teachers in the brotherhood:
- For do I now 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. 1: 10
- But as we were allowed of God (have been approved) to be put in trust (intrusted) with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God, which truth our hearts. 1 Thess. 2: 4
Those things that we get involved with in order to please men rather than pleasing God because these things are not in God’s agenda to man, it is an invention of man.
These are few of them:
- White wedding and marriage customs and traditions
- A minute of silence during funeral service
- Collection during funeral
- Child – dedication or blessing
THE DANGERS OF PLEASING MEN RATHER THAN GOD
Christ has made very clear statements concerning men pleasers
“think not that, I am to send peak, but a record. For I am come to set a man at variant against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in-law against her mother in-law.
And the man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
He that loveth his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he that loveth his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt. 10: 34 – 37
CAUSES OF PLEASING MEN MORE THAN GOD
- It is our customs or tradition
- It is done everywhere
- Because of pressure
There is a big question we should ask ourselves. The question is, where are we going from here. Future wise, what is the level of our faith. Are we going up or down in faith and belief?
The bad effect of pleasing man instead of God, is that to such a person God, Christ, the Holy Spirit have nothing to do with him.
“If any man comes to me, and hate not his father and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and, and listens, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple – Luke 14: 26
“What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. Rom. 9: 14.
ADVICE AND CONCLUSION
Let us examine and try our ways to see and know how we, individually and collectively have promoted the growth of the Church that Christ died for, or examine and see the level we have helped the Church individually or collectively not to grow to the expectation of God and even man in matters of our faith and relationship with him.
Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord. Lamentation 3: 40
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in faith; prove your own selves, know ye not thy own selves how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobate?
2 Cor. 13: 5
Thank you and stay blessed in Jesus name – Amen
UYO TOWN CHURCH OF CHRIST, 20 PAUL BASSEY STREET, UYO
SERMON PRESENTED BY E.A.U. EKONG (MIN.) ON 17TH JUNE, 2018