Because of God's authority, we don't need to seek the acceptance of others.
How many times do we shy away from conflict? How many times do we choose peace over the thing that God might be telling us to push through because we really doubt the authority that God has given us? Paul was outnumbered here. He was talking to many churches. He had the Judaizers against him. He was just one man. He had been called to the Gentiles and his calling, his experience was unique, but he said, you're not going to shake my authority just because you're doubting it. Here's why this is important. This acceptance is not just for your journal is not just so you feel better about yourself. You need to fully embrace your acceptance in Jesus because that gives you the authority to stand on. God is going to call you into places where everybody's not going to applaud you. They're not going to always agree.
You won't always get a lot of likes. You might not have a lot of followers. You might not always have a lot of friends, but the authority you stand on is what changes lives. Not being popular, but being able to speak with clarity and truth about what God has said. Look in John 12:49. Jesus says, “For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the father who has sent me, he has given me a commandment what to say and what to speak.” Now, if Jesus, who was fully God and also fully man, needed the authority of the father, how much more do we need to stand on it?
I wonder how many times we are powerless in situations because we are relying on our own authority. The latest quote that we've read, the latest thing that's inspired us, whatever the current trend is. That will not change lives. I'm telling you only the authority of Christ will do it and you can't stand on it if you're doubting your acceptance, if you're not even sure that you have a place at the table with God because of your faith through Christ Jesus, there's no way you're going to stand on the authority of God. The authority in Jesus gives us the ability to rebuke and challenge and do it in love. Paul says in verses 6-9, I'm astonished that you're so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and you are turning to a different gospel.
Not that there's another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. Now, that word distort is very interesting because he's actually talking about what it means to transpose. It's almost like if you put in your credit card number and you make a payment online and you flip just two numbers, you'll know instantly that something's not right. He's not talking about somebody that created an entirely new story. He's saying even the subtle change of the truth of the gospel is enough to call it a distortion, but it's because of the authority that he stands on that he feels like I can rebuke and I can challenge it. I can do it in love. I'm fully accepted by God and I stand on the authority. I love you more than I need you to like me. That's really what it means when I stand on the authority of God.