Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 155 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Romans 15 today and our focus is on Should We Be People Pleasers? . We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
Today we are going to look at what, at first glance, might seem to be a contradiction in the Bible, but upon deeper inspection, is not at all. This is, however, a great area of confusion for Christians, so let’s ask an important question: Should Christians seek to please people? I suspect that most of you that were raised in church are probably saying, “No!” right now, because it has been drilled into your head NOT to please people. So, what do we do with vs. 2-3:
2 Each one of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself. (Romans 15:2-3
That is a command, from Paul, for us to please our neighbor – FOR HIS GOOD, to BUILD HIM UP. So – this means we are indeed called to be people pleasers, at least when it is for our neighbor’s good, and to build him up. Wait a minute, what about Galatians 1:10
10 For am I now trying to persuade people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
Paul says that he wouldn’t be a servant of God if he was striving to please people – surely this is a contradiction, right? Except, no – it is not. The context of Galatians is that some people – prominent former Pharisees, were trying to get the young church to accept that circumcision for the Gentiles is necessary to go to Heaven. Paul is writing Galatians to say that this is not part of the good news – that circumcision is NOT necessary to go to Heaven, and that if he caved on that issue, he would be doing so simply to be accepted, or to please people. It wouldn’t be helpful for them at all for him to surrender to this false teaching. So, here we see that COMPROMISING the commands of God in order to please people is unacceptable. Let’s keep going.
31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or Greeks or the church of God, 33 just as I also try to please everyone in everything, not seeking my own benefit, but the benefit of many, so that they may be saved. 1 Corinthians 10:31-33
Here Paul is saying quite clearly that he will compromise his own convenience and preferences in order to please everyone, because he is seeking the benefit of everybody, in order that they might be saved. So – are we to be people pleasers, and the answer is yes, we are EXCEPT when it comes to compromising God’s truth and God’s Word. Pastor David Platt helps us to see this:
Listen to what Paul says right after verse 31. “Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.” (1 Corinthians 10:32–33) Paul is saying, “I lay my life down for the good of others, specifically those in the church.” The very next verse, 1 Corinthians 11:1, expresses Paul’s desire to literally lay down his life to show others how to follow Christ. “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1) He wants to serve those in the church.
Obviously, not just those in the church. Paul wants to live for the good of those without Christ. That was the whole point at the end of 1 Corinthians 9. “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:22b) Remember, this is the purpose for which we’re on the planet: To enjoy, to glorify God as we spread His gospel from where we live to the ends of the earth. This is how we glorify God. We glorify God when we realize living like this is good for ourselves
The beauty is that by living like this, laying down our lives for the glory of God by serving others in the church and leading others to Christ, we glorify God when we realize living like this is good for ourselves. Paul’s whole point is to show the Corinthians that this is where true life is found, where joy is found and meaning is found and fulfillment is found—in focusing every single thing you do on the glory of God as you lay down your life to serve others in Christ and lead others to Christ.David Platt, “The Cross and the Christian’s Sports,” in David Platt Sermon Archive (Birmingham, AL: David Platt, 2013), 4013–4014.
Bible Memory verses for the month of June: Daniel 6:23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to take Daniel out of the den. When Daniel was brought up from the den, he was found to be unharmed, for he trusted in his God.
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