Sep 20, 2020. Philippians 1:15-18

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THE MESSAGE AND THE MESSENGER. Philippians 1:15-18. 9/20/20. #03.

Philippians 1:15-18 []New King James Version]

15 Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: 16 The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; 17 but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.

  • Wolves that bleat
    • Paul praised God for allowing him to preach to his guards
      • Some guards became believers and then took the Gospel into Caesar’s palace to share with others
      • Paul was able to expand his ministry to the best placed people in society
    • Paul’s enemies thought they would increase Paul’s punishment if they preached the Gospel as well
      • If it seemed like Paul’s influence was spreading then gov. officials would be more determined to eradicate Paul and his movement
      • Paul’s enemies could have been Jews or pagans
    • Three basic ways to taint the Gospel message:
      • Identify the message with a perverted religion
        • The cults identify Christ with their corrupt doctrine (Jeh. Wit., Mormons, Rom. Cath. …)
        • Via adding to the Gospel, subtracting from the Gospel, changing who Jesus is, or polluting the message, a false Gospel emerges
      • Message preached by fleshly and worldly false believers (lustful, lying, thieving, coveting…) = no life change
      • Connecting Gospel to Spiritism, paganism, or occult (woman with divination = Acts 16)
    • Whenever the Gospel is tied to corrupt people, there is a tainting of the testimony
      • II Samuel 12 by sin David caused unsaved to curse God
      • The behavior of Samson, Jacob, Balaam, Demus, Ananias/Sapphira and others reflect poorly on Gospel)
    • However, good was glad that the Gospel was preached from whatever corner it came from
      • A poor messenger doesn’t alter the validity of the message (though it might tie it to a poor testimony)
      • No one can judge whether a message is being preached by a true believer with a poor testimony (1 Corinthians 3) or a false believer (Jude 1)
      • There are those saved by the Gospel even when it is spoken by unsaved (Hb. 4:12 = power of Word)
    • Paul was glad that the message was going forth
  • The divine sorter
    • Even though Paul warned against false teachers, he did not seek to track down and stop them
      • Romans 12 it was not Paul’s job to judge others
      • Paul chose to focus on message and not messenger
    • Good spiritual songs are still good, even if the song writers drift away from the faith
    • There are many different denominations, belief systems, and claims that God will sort out, but we need to be on guard
    • Paul’s main concern was that Christ was being preached
    • Paul’s ministry was before many of the heresies developed (veneration of Mary, Arianism, modalism, Pelagianism,…)
      • Paul dealt with Judaizers, early Gnostics, syncretism, scammers, and false doctrine
      • This passage only deals with the Gospel and not doctrine
    • 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, Paul was not concerned who gave the Gospel, just as long as the Gospel was dispensed
      • Galatians 1 Paul wanted the correct Gospel to go forth
      • II Timothy 2:15 Paul was concerned about false doctrine
  • Fellowship of the faithful
    • Not every doctrinal belief must align to fellowship with a believer of a different denominational bent
    • The essentials of the Gospel, the Word, and Christ are central
      • Any belief that causes error or taints testimony = nil
      • Learn to rejoice when true Gospel is shared

Key verse:  I Corinthians 15:1-11 [New King James Version]

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.