Summary: Part of a series on Philippians, we’re encouraged to preach Christ, no matter what.
Illus. Georgia Tech. Football game years ago. GT was ahead 7 to 6.
•Coach told QB not to throw no matter what.
•They ran to the opponents 10 yd. line in last minute of play, but he was overcome by temptation.
•He threw and it was intercepted by the fastest back on the team.
•He started rushing toward the end zone, but the QB suddenly overtook and tackled him.
•Losing coach asked, how did your QB catch my fastest back?
•“Your back was running for a touchdown, my boy was running for his life.”
•Wall Street Journal, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations, ©1979, Paul Lee Tan, p. 862
Why do we do what we do? What are our motives/reasons behind what we do?
Specifically, are we doing the right things for the wrong reasons?
We’re studying Phil. Turn to Phil. 1:15-18.
Last week - Paul’s adversity actually resulted in the advance of the Gospel.
Today - look closer at that advance and see the motives behind it.
•Two groups of people who both did the right thing, but for different reasons.
Before we look at this passage, we need to begin at v. 14.
14BECAUSE OF MY CHAINS, MOST OF THE BROTHERS IN THE LORD HAVE BEEN ENCOURAGED TO SPEAK THE WORD OF GOD MORE COURAGEOUSLY AND FEARLESSLY.
In v. 15ff, Paul divides these brothers into 2 groups.
The Bad Group: The Good Group:
The first thing we need to look at was their motive in preaching.
I. WHY DID THEY PREACH?
15IT IS TRUE THAT SOME PREACH CHRIST OUT OF ENVY AND RIVALRY (jealousy and strife),
PREACH – to announce, proclaim. It’s a different word than preach in v. 17.
•Cf. a Town crier - “Hear ye, hear ye!” “The British are coming”. “The sky is falling”.
This bad group is preaching because they’re jealous of Paul’s power/authority/success.
•He had become famous. That’s what they wanted as well.
That doesn’t happen among Christians, and especially not among preachers!
•Oh yes it does. (more successful, bigger congregation, 12 disciples)
Lk. 22:24-26 A DISPUTE AROSE AMONG THEM AS TO WHICH OF THEM WAS CONSIDERED TO BE GREATEST. 25JESUS SAID TO THEM, “THE KINGS OF THE GENTILES LORD IT OVER THEM; AND THOSE WHO EXERCISE AUTHORITY OVER THEM CALL THEMSELVES BENEFACTORS. 26BUT YOU ARE NOT TO BE LIKE THAT. INSTEAD, THE GREATEST AMONG YOU SHOULD BE LIKE THE YOUNGEST, AND THE ONE WHO RULES LIKE THE ONE WHO SERVES.
Some say these “bad preachers” were Judaizers who had opposed Paul before.
•This can’t be true because the Judaizers never preached Christ.
•The Judaizers were the ones Paul condemns in Gal. for false preaching.
Gal. 1:8 BUT EVEN IF WE OR AN ANGEL FROM HEAVEN SHOULD PREACH A GOSPEL OTHER THAN THE ONE WE PREACHED TO YOU, LET HIM BE ETERNALLY CONDEMNED!
The message is not in question, the motive is.
This bad group preached the truth, but with false motives.
The Bad Group: Jealousy The Good Group: Goodwill
BUT OTHERS OUT OF GOODWILL (charity, kindness). Their heart matched their message.
They enjoyed preaching the Gospel and they proclaimed it for the right reasons.
They were truly encouraged by Paul’s adversity to preach Christ boldly.
Now some TSS have v. 17 before 16. The best/earliest MSS have it like NIV.
•Really doesn’t matter.
The second motive of the good group is: Selfless compassion
16THE LATTER (the good group) DO SO IN LOVE (for Paul and for Christ), KNOWING (appreciating) THAT I AM PUT HERE FOR THE DEFENSE OF THE GOSPEL (cf. v. 7).
PUT HERE – gives the idea of “appointed, destined”.
•He didn’t plan on this. He was called to and set there for the defense of the Gospel.
•He had nothing to boast about, and yet his rivals were still jealous.
The good group saw Paul’s adversity and his attitude in the midst of adversity and it encouraged them to preach Christ themselves out of love and selfless compassion.
The Bad Group, on the other hand preached out of jealousy and Selfish ambition.
17THE FORMER PREACH CHRIST OUT OF SELFISH AMBITION, NOT SINCERELY (not with pure motives), SUPPOSING THAT THEY CAN STIR UP TROUBLE (tribulation/affliction) FOR ME WHILE I AM IN CHAINS.
SELFISH AMBITION – builds on jealousy; rivalry, faction, self-seeking pursuit, partisanship.
Illus. Politics. Each side will say whatever they can to make themselves look great and the other side to look awful.
Illus. Televangelists, “Dramatic Preachers”. It happens all too often in the Church.
•How often do we try to impress people with our service?
This first bad group preached Christ to make themselves look good and Paul look bad.
These “believers” were deliberately trying to stir up trouble for Paul.
•They preached not only for their own glory, but also for Paul’s demise.
•“Paul’s finally getting his due, so now it’s our turn to look good”.