New American Standard Bible
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.
King James Bible
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.
Darby Bible Translation
For do I now seek to satisfy men or God? or do I seek to please men? If I were yet pleasing men, I were not Christ's bondman.
World English Bible
For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? For if I were still pleasing men, I wouldn't be a servant of Christ.
Young's Literal Translation
for now men do I persuade, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if yet men I did please -- Christ's servant I should not be.
Galatians 1:10 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
For do I now persuade men, or God? - The word "now" (ἄρτι arti) is used here, evidently, to express a contrast between his present and his former purpose of life. Before his conversion to Christianity, he impliedly admits, that it was his object to conciliate the favor of people; that he derived his authority from them Acts 9:1-2; that he endeavored to act so as to please them and gain their good esteem. But "now" he says, this was not his object. He had a higher aim. It was to please God, and to conciliate His favor. The object of this verse is obscure; but it seems to me to be connected with what follows, and to be designed to introduce that by showing that he had not now received his commission from human beings, but had received it from God. perhaps there may be an allusion to an implied allegation in regard to him. It may have been alleged (see the notes at the previous verses) that even he had changed his mind, and was now himself an observer of the laws of Moses. To this, perhaps, he replies, by this question, that such conduct would not have been inconsistent in his view, when it was his main purpose to please people, and when he derived his commission from them; but that now he had a higher aim.
His purpose was to please God; and he was not aiming in any way to gratify people. The word which is rendered "persuade" here (πείθω peithō), has been very variously interpreted. Tyndale renders it: "seek now the favor of men or of God?" Doddridge: "Do I now solicit the favor of men or of God?" This also is the interpretation of Grotius, Hammond, Elsner, Koppe, Rosenmuller, Bloomfield, etc. and is undoubtedly the true explanation. The word properly means to "persuade," or to "convince"; Acts 18:4; Acts 28:23; 2 Corinthians 5:11. But it also means, to bring over to kind feelings, to conciliate, to pacify, to quiet. Septuagint, 1 Samuel 24:8; 2 Macc. 4:25; Acts 12:20; 1 John 3:19. By the question here, Paul means to say, that his great object was now to "please God." He desired God's favor rather than the favor of man. He acted with reference to His will. He derived his authority from God, and not from the Sanhedrin or any earthly council. And the purpose of all this is to say, that he had not received his commission to preach from man, but had received it directly from God.
Or do I seek to please men? - It is not my aim or purpose to please people, and to conciliate their favor; compare 1 Thessalonians 2:4.
For if I yet pleased men - If I made it my aim to please people: if this was the regulating principle of my conduct. The word "yet" here (ἔτι eti) has reference to his former purpose. It implies that this had once been his aim. But he says if he had pursued that purpose to please people; if this had continued to be the aim of his life, he would not "now have been a servant of Christ. He had been constrained to abandon that purpose in order that he might be a servant of Christ; and the sentiment is, that in order that a man may become a Christian, it is necessary for him to abandon the purpose of pleasing people as the rule of his life. It may be implied also that if in fact a man makes it his aim to please people, or if this is the purpose for which he lives and acts, and if he shapes his conduct with reference to that, he cannot be a Christian or a servant of Christ. A Christian must act from higher motives than those, and he who aims supremely at the favor of his fellowmen has full evidence that he is not a Christian. A friend of Christ must do his duty, and must regulate his conduct by the will of God, whether people are pleased with it or not.
And it may be further implied that the life and deportment of a sincere Christian will not please people. It is not what they love. A holy, humble, spiritual life they do not love. It is true, indeed, that their consciences tell them that such a life is right; that they are often constrained to speak well of the life of Christians, and to commend it; it is true that they are constrained to respect a person who is a sincere Christian, and that they often put confidence in such a person; and it is true also that they often speak with respect of them when they are dead; but the life of an humble, devoted, and zealous Christian they do not love. It is contrary to their views of life. And especially if a Christian so lives and acts as to reprove them either by his words or by his life; or if a Christian makes his religion so prominent as to interfere with their pursuits or pleasures, they do not love it. It follows from this:
(1) That a Christian is not to expect to please people. He must not be disappointed, therefore, if he does not. His Master did not please the world; and it is enough for the disciple that he be as his Master.
(2) a professing Christian, and especially a minister, should be alarmed when the world flatters and caresses him. He should fear either:
(a) That he is not living as he ought to do, and that sinners love him because he is so much like them, and keeps them in countenance; or,
(b) That they mean to make him betray his religion and become conformed to them.
It is a great point gained for the frivolous world, when it can, by its caresses and attentions, get a Christian to forsake a prayer-meeting for a party, or surrender his deep spirituality to engage in some political project. "Woe unto you," said the Redeemer, "when all men speak well of you," Luke 6:26.
(3) one of the main differences between Christians and the world is, that others aim to please people; the Christian aims to please only God. And this is a great difference.
(4) it follows that if people would become Christians, they must cease to make it their object to please people. They must be willing to be met with contempt and a frown; they must be willing to be persecuted and despised; they must he willing to lay aside all hope of the praise and the flattery of people, and be content with an honest effort to please God.
(5) true Christians must differ from the world. Their aims, feelings, purposes must be unlike the world. They are to be a special people; and they should be willing to be esteemed such. It does not follow, however, that a true Christian should not desire the good esteem of the world, or that he should be indifferent to an honorable reputation 1 Timothy 3:7; nor does it follow logically that a consistent Christian will not often command the respect of the world. In times of trial, the world will put confidence in Christians; when any work of benevolence is to be done, the world will instinctively look to Christians; and, notwithstanding, sinners will not love religion, yet they will secretly feel assured that some of the brightest ornaments of society are Christians, and that they have a claim to the confidence and esteem of their fellow-men.
The servant of Christ - A Christian.
LibraryThe Epistles of St. Paul
WHEN we pass from primitive Christian preaching to the epistles of St. Paul, we are embarrassed not by the scantiness but by the abundance of our materials. It is not possible to argue that the death of Christ has less than a central, or rather than the central and fundamental place, in the apostle's gospel. But before proceeding to investigate more closely the significance he assigns to it, there are some preliminary considerations to which it is necessary to attend. Attempts have often been made, …
James Denney—The Death of Christ
Exposition of St. Paul's Words, Gal. I. 8.
Fifth Sunday after Epiphany
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
1 Corinthians 10:33
just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved.
not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.
Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons:
1 Thessalonians 2:4
but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts.
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