Fr. Chad Jones spoke in his sermon yesterday on Galatians 1:1-12 at the early service at The Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Franklin, TN.
He compared Paul’s salutation in Romans which was warm, encouraging and cheery and that of Paul’s salutation in Galatians. In Galatians, Paul gets right to the point, still identifying himself as an apostle, but makes it clear that he is “not from men”.
Paul reminds the Galatians that Jesus “gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age.” It is a good reminder to us that we also live in a “present evil age” where the devil is constantly on the prowl.
Fr. Chad pointed out that Paul quickly turns to admonishing the Galatians that they have “so quickly deserted the one who called you” and are “turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all.”
It was a great sermon, but it was verse 10 that caught my attention: “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Verse 10 was spoken with boldness as I’ve had three conversations with friends in the past two weeks where they shared that they have disappointed family members or other friends. It is a burden that we carry when we are judged by those closest to us, and sometimes we never seem to live up to their expectations.
But Fr. Chad reminded me of the advice from the Holy Spirit that I shared with my three friends: “It is more important to know the will of God and what pleases him, than to worry about what pleases people. We should always strive to emphasize our desire to know God, and worry less about what other people think of us.”
Thanks Fr. Chad for the reminder that the devil is constantly on the prowl trying to convince us that there is another gospel that we should be living, instead of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul is blunt with his words: “If I were trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
I want to be a servant of Christ.
Blessings, my friend,