Christ Is Preached

“The important thing is that…Christ is preached.” ~Philippians 1:18

Christ Is Preached!While Paul is in jail there are some other preachers there in Rome piling on. They’re preaching Christ out of envy and rivalry. Their motivations are all wrong. They’re involved in power plays and intentionally trying to harm Paul and discredit him in the eyes of the church and the community. It’s selfish. It’s insincere. And Paul says, Surprise!

“It doesn’t matter. The important thing is that Christ is preached. And because of this, I rejoice.”

At the end of the day, after all their efforts to oppose Paul, they’ve only succeeded in doing the one thing that matters most to Paul: they’re preaching Christ! Paul’s not concerned about identifying this group. In fact, it’s impossible to tell who these other preachers are here, because to Paul, that’s not important. These other preachers are mean and selfish and they’re using Paul’s chains to promote themselves. But they’re preaching Christ and him crucified for the forgiveness of sins. So Paul’s attitude is just like what he told the Corinthians: “Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?”

Just as in Corinth Paul felt it was more important for the church to act like the church than for its members to receive the personal satisfaction of winning lawsuits, he takes his own advice here in Rome. He’s facing people who’ve wronged him. But he shrugs off their animosity and is able to rejoice because they’re preaching Christ.

We have a hard time with that, I think. But we’re in good company.

The apostles run to Jesus in Luke 9 and say, “We saw a man driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him because he is not one of us.” And Jesus says don’t do that! Just because he’s not with you doesn’t mean he’s not with me.

If we’re going to experience a revival, if we’re going to experience a spiritual awakening, we’re going to have to understand that God’s salvation work is bigger than me and what I’m doing. His work to redeem the world is bigger than us and what we’re doing. He’s using me. He’s using us. No question. Praise God. But he’s using all kinds of people in all kinds of places to reconcile creation back to himself. And when we have that joyful perspective, we don’t argue or bicker or fight with Christians who don’t do things the way we do things. We don’t talk bad about them. We don’t look down on them in any way.

But, Allan, they don’t do this! Or have you seen the way they do that?

Paul says, so what? “What does it matter? The important thing is that Christ is preached.” And we praise God that here’s another group of disciples proclaiming the life, death, and resurrection of our common Lord.

Peace,

Allan

4 Comments

  1. Caleb Courtney

    A HUGE AMEN! It always bothers me when I hear people bemoan the fact that there is no CoC in some particular place. I love our strain, I believe we are true to God’s word and to Christ’s call. But to have such a small view of God’s ability to transform his world, that we think no work is being done because we are not there is just wrong.
    Some in my circle like to bash Joel Osteen for being Christianity ‘light.’ But look at all the people he is reaching, God is surely blessing his ministry. Let us all say amen when God works among any of us humans. Thank you for your encouragement, I know I often need to check my own attitude, just as the apostles did.

  2. Rob's Dad

    Allan – thanks AGAIN for the Ranger analogy so my simple brain hosuing group can understand this. Maybe you need to modify that for other sports..

    Caleb – I always enjoy your posts and I’m with you on the Osteen comment. If the they need a “light version” to get them going,at least they are going.

  3. Bobby Boucher

    Maybe we shouldn’t use Osteen as an example. Considering he said on Larry King that non-believers are “not wrong.”

  4. Caleb Courtney

    I think we can take anyone out of context. I certainly don’t agree with all of Osteen’s theology. But what I appreciate about him is at the beginning of each sermon, he has the church hold up their bible’s, (which they all bring) and bodly and audibly declare that their bible is the word of God, useful for teaching and directing their lives. He also ends each television sermon by encouraging viewers to find a bible based congregation in their area to get involved with. Again, I don’t agree with everything he says, but he preaches Christ and holds the Bible as the word of God, that’s a great place for someone to be introduced to Christ.

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