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The One True Gospel (Galatians 1:1-10)

Galatians 1:1–10 - 1 Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), 2 and all the brethren who are with me, To the churches of Galatia: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen. 6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! 10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.


What does today’s passage say?

In today’s passage, Paul asserts that he has been commissioned as an apostle directly by God, not human sources (vv. 1-5). He is shocked that the Galatians have turned so quickly to follow a distorted gospel contrary to the Gospel of grace he previously taught them (vv. 6-9). Paul is devoted to preaching the true message of salvation by faith in Christ, not seeking approval from mankind, which makes it clear he is serving as a servant of God not of human agendas (v. 10).


How can I apply Galatians 1:1-10 to my life?

In the opening of Paul’s letter to the Galatian churches, he gives a powerful testimony of his calling as an apostle of Christ. Jesus Himself appointed Paul for ministry, not any human council. Therefore, Paul served to please God rather than men. This set the stage for him to confront the Galatians’ dangerous slide into a false gospel that could shipwreck their faith. As we dive into Paul’s letter to the Galatian churches, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to awaken us to any areas where we have grown indifferent to the purity of the true Gospel rooted in grace. How can we steer clear of watering down truth to suit popular opinion? Are we serving God with undivided loyalty so that bringing praise to Jesus Christ flows naturally from our lives? Our enemy seeks to undermine our devotion through temptations toward self-glory, people-pleasing, or pride in human wisdom. Here are some basic principles from this passage that we should apply to our lives:

1.    Serve God Wholeheartedly for His Glory (vv. 1-5): Paul makes it clear in the opening of this letter that he is an apostle called directly by Jesus Christ and God the Father, not by any human authority. His intention is to serve God faithfully by proclaiming the Gospel of Christ, not seeking to win the approval of mankind. We too must serve the Lord with undivided loyalty, lifting high His name rather than pursuing any selfish agenda that aims to glorify ourselves. Our life’s purpose should be bringing glory to the One who showed such mercy in saving us from the kingdom of darkness. This requires devotion that comes from the heart, not mere outward actions. Ask the Spirit to give you an undivided heart so that your words and deeds are motivated by a genuine desire to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ as you carry out His work. Be wary of drifting into serving God for what you can get out of it by way of man’s praise or success by the world’s standards. We already have every spiritual blessing in Christ, so we do not need to serve Him as a means of achieving what we lack. Make it your sole ambition to hear Him say “Well done” when your race is finished (2 Corinthians 5:9, Colossians 3:23, 1 Thessalonians 2:4).

Food for thought: What areas of my life am I holding back from fully surrendering to the Lordship of Christ? Do my decisions and daily schedule reflect that bringing glory to God carries the highest priority?

2.    Guard Against False Gospels By Trusting Scripture (vv. 6-9): Paul expresses shock that the Galatians are turning so readily to a different gospel that distorts the grace of Christ. This should jolt us into awareness of how easily we too can be enticed away from the purity of the true Gospel message if we do not anchor ourselves in Scripture. Only the Word of God does not shift and bend to suit different agendas. When we begin entertaining ideas that seem attractive but subtly diminish Christ’s finished work for us, we start sliding onto the slippery slope away from the faith once delivered. Test every teaching against the benchmarks of Scripture, not reacting on emotions or surface-level logic. Just because an idea seems insightful does not mean it aligns with truth. And no matter how winsome the messenger, if the central message contradicts the Gospel foundations in God’s Word we must reject it. Scripture alone must shape our understanding of salvation and how to walk with Jesus day to day (2 Timothy 3:16-17, 1 John 4:1-3, Jude 1:3).

Food for thought: Where do I tend to place my trust more – in the shifting opinions of man or the unchanging truth of Scripture? What habits can I implement to immerse myself more deeply in God’s Word so I can readily identify false teaching?

3.    Seek To Please And Serve God, Not Men (v. 10): Paul states plainly that if his intention was to win the approval and praise of people, he would not be able to faithfully serve Christ. There is an important principle here for us as followers of Jesus. If our driving motivation is to gain man’s applause, we will end up tamping down or compromising aspects of the Gospel that call for denying self. Our words and deeds will subtly shift to avoid controversy, criticism, or rejection. Rather than convicted truth-telling, we fall into people-pleasing. Our best life is found when living for an audience of One – our gracious God who fashioned us for good works that extend His kingdom. Only when we fix our sights on the mercy and majesty of Jesus will we become truly free to serve Him with boldness and joy. This fills each day with purpose and meaning regardless of outer circumstances (Proverbs 29:25, Galatians 1:10, Colossians 3:23-24).

Food for thought: Do I tend to avoid sharing certain biblical truths that might be unpopular or misunderstood? What specific actions can I take to keep the focus of my life on pursuing God’s approval rather than man’s?

Paul’s starting words in Galatians remind us that as followers of Jesus, our purpose extends far beyond pursuing our own interests and agendas. God has called us to wholeheartedly serve and honor Christ, not craving the approval of people. This requires trusting completely in the Gospel of grace rather than watering it down to accommodate popular perspectives. May the Spirit give us wisdom and courage to stay anchored in Scriptural truth about salvation so we can recognize dangerous deception. Our undivided loyalty belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ alone.


Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray that You would make me a faithful servant who seeks only to glorify You. Expose any areas where I have grown indifferent to elements of the true Gospel. Produce in me such vibrant love for You that I serve You with joy and freedom rather than out of obligation or desire for human praise. Help me daily submit my schedule and priorities to You instead of the other way around. I want to reflect Your grace and truth to others from a heart overflowing with gratitude because You opened my eyes to the gift of salvation through Christ. Thank You for making me competent to share the message of redemption and reconciliation.

I pray these things in the most precious name of Jesus, Amen.


Galatians 1:10 – “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.”


 With His Blessings,

Pastor Corby

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