Value, Approval, and the Gospel

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“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. — Galatians 1:10

One of the most fundamental yet radical changes in the heart of a new Christian, when he or she turns from sin and trusts completely in the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, is a value system that shapes our desires, emotions, decisions, and actions. Before Christ, that is, before our conversion, our value system was aligned with what brought us the most pleasure — the most success, the most things, the most happiness, etc., That meant that we valued, pursued, and actively chased after things that brought us closer to that goal. But at our conversion (and everyday since then!), we no longer ascribed the same value to those things. Instead of ascribing ultimate value to what brings us pleasure, we now value above all that which brings God pleasure.


Instead of ascribing ultimate value to what brings us pleasure, we now value above all that which brings God pleasure.


One of the most notable ways that this radical change in our value system is seen is in our attitude toward others, and specifically toward the approval of others. Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, labors to demonstrate that, because he has been called and commissioned by Christ to preach the gospel, and because he knows that gospel to be 100% true and accurate, nothing can ever completely pull him away from his number one task – glorifying God by bringing the good news of Christ to the gentiles. The old value system that placed an undue priority on the approval of men would challenge and disapprove of Paul’s message. But the gospel changes all that, and man’s opinion of Paul and his message no longer holds the same sway over him it once might have.


One of the most notable ways that this radical change in our value system is seen is in our attitude toward others, and specifically toward the approval of others.


The same is true of everyone of us who experience that dynamic shift in value. Instead of living life in search of the approval of others or chasing the self-severing pleasure of the world, we now seek and serve the pleasures of God. And the deepest pleasure of God is found in the exaltation of his Son through the proclamation of the gospel.

The question before us today: how will we overcome the fear of man and serve God? What areas of your life have you not completely liberated from the clutches of your old value system? Pray that the Lord will continue to change your heart and mind about what is important, and lead you to act boldly to proclaim Christ to the world.

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