Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 5
For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
For—pointing back to him calling false teachers to be accursed, strong words.
Persuade—pacify, conciliate, seek one’s approval.
ESV “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God?”
NASB “ For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God?”
Please men—be agreeable, to accommodate one’s self to the opinions and desires of another.
--in other words Paul is accused of pleasing Gentiles, being afraid to stick with Jewish law stuff to winbfans. Paul denies this charge strongly.
Not after man—not received by, not tempered by human input, certainly not watering it down to keep people happy.
Revelation of Jesus Christ—Christ taught him directly. Did not learn this from people. This is no people created message thought up to please people.
--talks about this into chapter 2—didn’t see apostles, left everyone for three years. He was an opponent of the church so didn’t base it on his past either. Didn’t go to Jerusalem again for 14 years.
1 Corinthians 10:31-33
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
Glory of God—for His ends, not to please people for selfish ends.
None offence—don’t trip anyone up. Refers to minor issues, temporal things.
Please—same word used in Galatians 1:10 where he says he doesn’t please men!
Own profit—this is the key—why do you placate people? For your own benefit? Paul lays aside his own desires if it furthers the Gospel.
2 Corinthians 5:9-11
Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
Labor—make it our aim, ambition. Accepted—pleasing, agreeable to God.
Terror of the Lord—the fear of the Lord based on coming judgment. They will stand there, don’t you want to help them be ready?
Persuade men—same as in Galatians 1:10 where he says he isn’t persuading men.
-- tell people what they need to hear. He has a sincere desire to help them understand truth and does nothing to offend them that thwarts truth.
If you offend people; offend them with truth.
If you persuade people; persuade them with truth, dropping off all peripheral issues to facilitate them hearing the truth.
2 Timothy 4:2-4
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Sound doctrine—healthy teaching.
Itching ears—tell what they want to hear, driven by pleasure so keep the truth away. They come just to listen, to be entertained and please, not to be taught.
Turn truth fables—going opposite direction from truth leads you to false stories. Fiction, fable, invention.
You are susceptible to only wanting to hear what makes you happy.
You are susceptible to only want to speak what makes others happy.
Paul says and hears what makes the Lord happy!