3 For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. 4 On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.
1 Thessalonians 2:3-4
What is the appeal is Paul and his companions making, that he is writing about in the verse above? Let’s look at the two prior verses and see what they tell us.
1 You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. 2 We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you His gospel in the face of strong opposition.
1 Thessalonians 2:1-2
It is the gospel, God’s gospel of His Son, Paul was sharing with them even though it was met with great opposition – initially. Because of this, the gospel was preached directly in spite of the disagreements and opposition. They appealed to the citizens and people of Thessalonica to hear God’s gospel, to be heard as they shared His good news of salvation.
He reminded them there was no trickery involved, no guile or impure motives in bringing the gospel to them.
Instead they believed they were entrusted with the gospel so men might receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. They were doing their best to bring the good news of Jesus the Christ to them.
Then there is the deciding factor, they were doing this not to please the Thessalonians, but to please God. No they were not seeking any form of flattery or approval nor were wanting of anything from them. They only wanted to please God. And further God knows their motivation, as He tests or tries or examines their hearts.
Matthew Henry says
This is the great motive to sincerity, to consider that God not only sees all we do, but knows our thoughts afar off, and searches the heart. And it is from this God who trieth our hearts, that we must receive our reward.
When you go to church, what do you hear? God’s gospel or something watered down or worse seeking your approval. There are pastors we know of today, who seek not God’s approval, but man’s approval. They have seemingly forgotten God knows their hearts. Or they simply don’t care as they receive some form of adulation from those to whom they bring their watered down version of God’s word.
Michael Brown (look him up on youtube.com) recently published an article asking ‘Why Are We Trying to Gain the (Moral) Approval of the Left?’ Great question, but I would have rather seen ‘Why Are We Trying To Gain the Moral Approval of the Secular World?’ As I read through the article, it became clear this is what he really meant as so many on the left (and the right) are without faith and do not care what God’s word says.
So, it’s Friday, and I hope you have a Great Weekend and when you go to church you hear God’s word from pastors, preachers, ministers seeking His approval as they teach from His word and tell us about His Son and the Free Gift of Grace offered through Jesus.