Potshots at Paul

Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Philippians 1:15-18

These detractors weren’t Judaizers who preached a “Christ plus works” doctrine, but likely opportunists and needlers. No, Paul did not go ecumenical on us. Only magnanimous. What this tells me is that there will be clashing personalities in the ministry, and personal ambitions. Modeling Paul, a man of the Word needs to always take the high road. In my world, I leave the inconsequential theological debates to the dark-paneled far corners of evangelical fundamentalism.

Another good example of magnanimity from Paul is when he purified himself along with four Gentiles on instructions from the leaders in Jerusalem (Acts 21:23-26). He did not remain cloistered in a “my way or the highway” box, but knew what mattered and what didn’t. If these guys had a bad attitude or selfish ambition, the Spirit of God would intervene. In the meantime, Paul kept pressing on for the prize of the “upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14).

About Rick Reynolds

You'll find me in the far right hand corner of evangelical Christianity. Been studying the Word for nearly 45 years and counting.
This entry was posted in Devotionals, Philippians and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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