April 25, 2011
“What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.” (Philippians 1:18)
This verse seems to conflict with warnings about false teachers (2 Peter 2:1) and another gospel (Galatians 1:6-9). The key is identifying what Paul is allowing on the one hand and condemning on the other.
Some teachers of his day (probably both in Philippi and in Rome) appeared to be taking advantage of Paul’s imprisonment to enhance their own reputations. Indeed, some were trying through their public preaching to “add affliction to |his| bonds” (Philippians 1:16).
Even though some with ungodly motives stood out among those preaching of “good will,” Paul was able to rejoice that “Christ is preached” (today’s text) by both categories, and therein is the source of the “power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16).
The stern denunciation of “another gospel” (Galatians 1:6) exposes the untruth of all hybrid messages, whether human or angelic, that would attempt to preach anything other than “Christ, and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
Here is the message for us. When the full gospel of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection–according to the Scriptures–is preached (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) by whatever means and even under sometimes questionable motives, the “good news” is cause for rejoicing. It is the gospel that has power, not the messenger.
However, when some people attempt to change that gospel to make it seem more attractive to those who wish to continue in sin, or change its message to allow for human works, we are to see such preachers as dangerous and under condemnation. May God keep us from both mistakes. HMM III
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For the writing of the Scriptures and the preserving of them pure and entire to our day.
We thank thee that we have the Scriptures to search, and that in them we have eternal life, and that they testify of Christ; John 5:39(KJV) and that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16(KJV)
That whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope; Romans 15:4(KJV) and that we have this most sure word of prophecy, as a light shining in a dark place. 2 Peter 1:19(KJV)
That the vision is not become to us as the words of a book that is sealed, Isaiah 29:11(KJV) but that we hear in our own tongue the wonderful works of God. Acts 2:11(KJV)
We thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that the things which were hid from the wise and prudent, and which many prophets and kings desired to see, and might not, 1 Peter 1:10(KJV) are revealed to us babes: even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight. Luke 10:21(KJV)
Matthew Henry’s Daily Devotional
True faith does not depend merely on the state of man’s head and understanding, but on the state of his heart. His mind may be convinced. His conscience may be pierced. But so long as there is anything the man is secretly loving more than God, there will be no true faith. The man himself may be puzzled, and wonder why he does not believe. He does not see that he is like a child sitting on the lid of his box, and wishing to open it, but not considering that his own weight keeps it shut. Let a man make sure that he honestly and really desires first the praise of God. It is the lack of an honest heart which makes many stick fast in their false religion all their days, and die at length without peace. Those who complain that they hear, approve, assent, but make no progress, and cannot get any hold on Christ, should ask themselves this simple question – “Am I honest? Am I sincere? Do I really desire first the praise of God?”
~ J.C. Ryle
instruments. The soul must look through all and above all to “the God of all grace.”
fast that which is good.” And however deeply you may feel the vileness of your heart, remember this, there is “the God of all grace” to go to. If you feel yourself the vilest of sinners, he suits you the more as “the God of all grace.” If you feel dark, stupid, and barren, it is the greater reason that you should call on “the God of all grace” to revive your drooping soul. If any have lost past enjoyments, and are now “walking in darkness” that may be felt, it is the more reason they should seek “the God of all grace,” that he may supply their wants out of Christ’s fulness, as the covenant Head. Yea, whatever trials, perplexities, and temptations may harass your soul, it is only to open the way for “the God of all grace” to appear. In whatever affliction you may be, it will be your wisdom, as it will be your mercy, to be looking up unto him, that he may comfort your soul; and, turning from man, as Hezekiah turned his face to the wall, commit your case to him.
J.C.. PHILPOT – 1802-1869
A true Christian has a good hope when he looks ahead: the worldly man has none. A true Christian sees light in the distance: the worldly man sees nothing but darkness. And what is the hope of a true Christian? It is just this, – that Jesus Christ is coming again, coming without sin, – coming with all His people, – coming to wipe away every tear, – coming to raise His sleeping saints from the grave, – coming to gather together all His family, that they may be for ever with Him. Why is a believer patient? Because he looks for the coming of the Lord. He can bear hard things without murmuring. He knows the time is short. He waits quietly for the King.
~ J.C. Ryle