Question: Would you please help me to understand Philippians chapter 1, verses 15-18? It seems like this [portion] opens the door to anyone who "names the name of Jesus." | thebereancall.org

Question: Would you please help me to understand Philippians chapter 1, verses 15-18? It seems like this [portion] opens the door to anyone who "names the name of Jesus."

TBC Staff

Question: Would you please help me to understand Philippians chapter 1, verses 15-18: "Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice." It seems like this opens the door to anyone who "names the name of Jesus."

Response: Paul, who pointedly warned the Corinthians against receiving "another Jesus" (2 Corinthians:11:4) whom he did not preach, could not therefore be giving license to anyone who preaches a false Christ. No, Paul's concern here was the motivation of the heart of those who preached the biblical Jesus. Some were envious of other Christians and/or their ministries. Though  resentful, their message about Jesus Christ was true to the Word of God. In their methods of ministering, however, they wronged Paul or others who were receiving more attention, who were being more highly thought of, or who had a larger following, etc.

The attitude of those who preached "Christ of contention, not sincerely" involved selfish ambition. They even went beyond inwardly delighting in Paul's incarceration in Rome to somehow implying that his imprisonment was his own fault, thereby attempting to discredit him among their own supporters and those of Paul.

Paul, however, although he often corrected individuals and ministries that were deviating from the truth of God's Word, held preaching Christ in truth as paramount. His love of Christ and the gospel transcended his own sufferingin particular, the afflictions generated by envious Christiansyet by God's grace he could declare, "Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice."

 
 
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