“For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ”
I would not be a bondservant of Christ
Paul’s argument against pleasing people is that he is “a bondservant of Christ.” Grace did not diminish his dedication to Christ. He operated with a slave mentality toward Jesus. He was willing to put himself on the line for Christ. He never trimmed the sails of the gospel of grace. It cost him to be true to the gospel of grace message.
“Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead” (Acts 14:19).
”From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus” (Galatians 6:17).
It is axiomatic that a slave can have only one master. A slave has no will of his own. He obeys the one will of God alone. Paul cannot be a slave to both human opinions and God’s estimation. He did not trim his message or twaddle some balderdash to men.
It is axiomatic that if Jesus is his Lord, then a Christian does not seek popularity from men but the Lord.
If we are true to the message of God, we lose popularity with people. We will gain the favor of those who hold to the true gospel but lose the favor of those who reject the gospel of grace. We never say, “I could avoid harassment if I hedged my message. If I appealed to their latent desire to gain salvation or sanctification by works, then I would be popular with people.”
When we become Christians, we acknowledge Jesus as Lord. We yield our rights to the Lord Jesus. We accept without mental reservation that Jesus, the Lord of Glory, has absolute authority over us. We cannot go on our own.