“Challenge The Motive, But Rejoice In The Message!”(Phi.1:15-21).
“It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The later do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice…”
The contention here is not about false preachers. The worry is about the motives. Motive is defined as the reason for doing something. And as we have seen, the reason some preach Christ is out of envy and rivalry. These preachers of Christ out of false motives were envious of Paul’s success in ministry. Now that he was in prison, they said to themselves, “Serves him right. What did he want to show us?…” So their reason for preaching Christ was to add pain to Paul’s injury. But they were not false preachers.
Rivalry and envy among preachers of the gospel can hinder the spread of the gospel.
Recently social media reports say a Ugandan pastor cloesed his church after he had won a lottery that made him a millionaire in Ugandan Shillings. Here is a clear case of a preacher whose reason was to make money.
There are probably many other reasons why people preach Christ. Paul considers that we may challenge their motives but not the content of their message. Paul’s joy, – and this should be our joy too – is that “in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached.”
Those who preached Christ to deride Paul did not succeed in their motives, because the Christians were praying for Paul. Despite all the odds against him Paul made this declaration of his faith stance: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain…” His wish was that in whichever way, Christ should be exalted in his body.
Christ should be the central message of preaching and Christ should be the central message which we expect from preachers. Search each message to pick out of it that which makes you glorify God and build your hope on Christ the solid Rock by the help of the Holy Spirit.
Weekend prayer: Lord Jesus Christ I rejoice because you are the solid Rock on which I stand. Amen!
Have a blessed weekend! Peace be with you!
Rev Babila Fochang.
“Awesome God!”(Rom.11:33-36).One of my Cameroonian Old Testament Lecturer wondered, “Who are we Africans to pray for the salvation of the Jews? We embrace a people’s