It has been said that the major difficulty in religion today is that God has been left out. God has
not been considered nor consulted in matters of doctrine or practice. Teachings are advanced
that are either foreign to the teachings of Jesus or contrary to those found in the New
Testament or complete denials of the written word. God is left out. What He says, or what He
thinks, or what He likes are not considered.
There are three choices as to whom we are going to please in our words and actions: (i)
ourselves, (2) other men, or (3) God. While it must be admitted that occassionally all three may
coincide to be one and the same action, more often than not they represent three different
paths or choices: even as they unquestionably represent three different viewpoints and
First, we can seek to merely please ourselves. In this we look no rather than what gives us
pleasure or suits our purposes.
Secondly, we can seek to please other men. In this popular opinion, or the opinion of one we
are seeking to impress, is the criteria. Again, the foibles of human character become the basis
of word and deed.
Thirdly, we can seek to please God. In doing this, it is the divine wisdom of the heavenly Father
which direct our steps in performing that which is infallibly righty, proper and good.
In pleasing ourselves, it is our feelings and ideas which direct our actions. We ask ourselves:
"Do I like it?" "Do I want it?" "Do I feel it is right?" The question is not: "Does God like it?" "Does
God think it is right?" In searching our own likes and dislikes, in searching how we feel pro or
con on the matter, we are not serving God, but ourselves. Selfishness is the rule. The queston
is, "Should we seek to serve God or ourselves?"
In seeking to please others, it is the popular opinion which guides our deeds. We ask: "What
wifl people like?" "What will giveme the greatest popularity?" The likes and dislikes of the
populous, the feelings of popular opinion pro and con determine the paths which we travel. In
this we serve men, rather than God. The question is, "Should we seek to serve God or man?"
In seeking to please God, it is His likes and dislikes, His feelings, His ideas which are the
standard and rule of conduct. The questions asked are: "Does God like it?" Does God want it?"
"Does God command it?" "What does God say?" It is recongnition of the Sovereignty of the
Father of all living, and the need to submit to Him. The question is, "Should we seek to serve
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. (Galatians i:io)
In seeking to restore the church in the New Testament is seeking to please God in all things in
the organization, worship, work aned doctrine of the church and in the individual lives of
Christians. In the organization of the church, in the worship of the church, in the doctrine of the
church, and in the individual lives of Christians, we ask: "Does God like it?" Does God want it?"
"Does God command it?" "What does God say?" — and does that: nothing more, nothing less.
We search for what God has set forth, what has been revealed by the Holy Spirit of Christ in the
Holy Bible; and, do it.
One cannot please God without obeying him. Obedience is absolutely necessary. One can
know the true organization, the true worship, the true work and the true doctrine for the church,
and know what the proper character is for Christians, and yet not please God, for the
knowledge is useless without the application. Wherefore lay aside all ftlthtness and superfluity
of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your
souls. But be you doers of the word, and not bearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any
be a bearer of the word, and not a doer, be is like a man beholding his natural face in a mirror:
for he sees himself, and goes bis way, and immediately forgets what kind of man be was. But
whoever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues in it, be bemg not a forgetful hearer,
but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed, flames 1:21-2$) As Jesus said,
And why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (Luke 6:46) Little
children, let no man deceive you: far be who does righteousness is righteous, even as be is
righteous (ijohn 3.7)
Listen to the words of God to Israel, and the need for obedience will be clearly seen: And said,
If you will diligently listen to the voice of the LORD your God, and will do that which is right in His
sight, and will give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put nonoe of
these diseases upon you, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD who
heals you. (Exodus 15:26)