Summary: A group wanted Paul to justify and help them pick and choose who they felt had Proper and Improper motives when it came to Preaching the Word of God. Paul redirected their focus and rejoiced that Christ is Preached, focus not on the motive but the Word
TITLE: CHRIST IS PREACHED
SCRIPTURE: PHILIPPIANS 1:15-18
(Main thought from Pastor Darrin Hunt 2006 sermon central message which I have expanded upon)
I recall reading a story a few years ago, about an event that transpired the year I graduated High School, matter of fact, in 1979 – Story is recorded in the Wall Street Journal Encyclopedia. The story was told about a College football game when Georgia Tech was ahead of their opponent 7-6 with just a few minutes to go. Georgia Tech had the football and the Coach told the Quarterback – DO NOT THROW THE BALL. They eventually ran to their opponents 10 yard line in last minute of play. However, the Quarterback was overcome by Temptation. He threw the ball 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
• Game was saved and Georgia Tech won with time running out
• 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
Let’s ask the question this morning – WHY DO WE DO WHAT WE DO? What are our MOTIVES and reasons behind what we do? Specifically, ARE WE DOING THE RIGHT THINGS FOR THE WRONG REASONS? In our text this morning we find TWO GROUPS of people:
• Who both did the Right thing
• But for Different Reasons
Before we jump fully into this text this morning, let’s understand the position that Paul found himself during the writing of this text. We must consider VS. 14 “BECAUSE OF MY CHAINS, MOST OF THE BROTHERS IN THE LORD HAVE BEEN ENCOURAGED TO SPEAK THE WORD OF GOD MORE COURAGEOUSLY AND FEARLESSLY”. Paul is in JAIL – INCARCERATED – BEHIND BARS – LOCKED UP – IN THE SLAMMER – whatever term you want to use. In the next Verse Paul quickly addresses the motives of some local Preachers and divides these brothers into two Separate Groups.
• The Good Group
• The Other Group
The first thing we need to consider was THEIR MOTIVE IN PREACHING. I want you to stay with me this morning, because we must be careful, just like these brothers found in the text who lodged some complaints to Paul, we need to identify where we find ourselves. They wanted Paul to justify and help them pick and choose who they felt had Proper and Improper motives when it came to Preaching the Word of God.
Let’s look at Vs. 15 again – WHY DID THEY PREACH? - It is true that some preach Christ out of JEALOUSY and STRIFE. There were a group of Preachers out there that were Preaching only because they were Jealous of Paul’s POWER – AUTHORITY – SUCCESS.
• Paul had become somewhat Famous
• That is the same thing that they wanted
• They wanted to be Recognized on Paul’s level
• Paul was a well know Itinerant Preacher
Now we know THAT JEALOUSY AMONG PREACHERS WOULD NEVER HAPPEN IN THIS DAY AND AGE. That doesn’t happen among Christians, and especially not among preachers! But, we know that it does, things are not much different today. Oftentimes we find Preachers growing jealous because somebody has a bigger congregation.
• Always disturbs me whenever I meet a new Preacher and the first thing they ask is how big is your church
• We want to Puff ourselves up
• ST. LUKE 22:24-26 “A DISPUTE AROSE AMONG THEM AS TO WHICH OF THEM WAS CONSIDERED TO BE GREATEST”
• Jesus said to them - “THE KINGS OF THE GENTILES LORD IT OVER THEM; AND THOSE WHO EXERCISE AUTHORITY OVER THEM CALL THEMSELVES BENEFACTORS. BUT YOU ARE NOT TO BE LIKE THAT. INSTEAD, THE GREATEST AMONG YOU SHOULD BE LIKE THE LEAST, AND THE ONE WHO RULES LIKE THE ONE WHO SERVES.”
I am talking about the fact that Christ is Preached. There are some that will disagree with where I am heading this morning and tell us that these Other Preachers were Judaizers who had opposed Paul in our text.
• Remember with me that this could not be true because Judaizers Never preached Christ
• It was the Judaizers that Paul condemned in GALATIANS 1:8
• The message was not the Question at All
• The False Motive was the issue that was being addressed in this text
One Group Preached out of JEALOUSY – the Other Group Preached GOODWILL, which means Charity and Kindness. THEIR HEART MATCHED THEIR MESSAGE.
• They enjoyed preaching the Gospel
• They proclaimed it for the right reasons
• They lived to Preach the Gospel
• They were truly encouraged by Paul’s adversity to preach Christ boldly