Joy · New Testament · Philippians · Unity

Philippian Bits – 1:17

For this series in Philippians, I am going to limit each post to one verse, and hopefully produce a short, succinct read for my friends who follow.

1:17   The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.

Paul returns to the brothers who were preaching out of envy and rivalry (vs 15). As mentioned earlier, these brothers were fueled by selfish ambition.

In our modern church, I fear we are witness to the same two types of brothers. Those that preach out of good will include many godly, humble men who serve silently and without fanfare. Thiers is a life of servanthood and quiet periods of prayer, visiting with those who are hurting, and seeking to encourage those who are downtrodden.

There also are those who, by Paul’s own description, see the ministry as a career, an opportunity to have influence over others, to chase after the larger congregation, the larger church, a TV / Internet ministry, to be n the spotlight, and to draw attention to themselves, (for the sake of Christ of course!)

At this point in my Christian walk, I am somewhat jaded toward these so called ministers. I understand that the prevailing winds of Christianity almost require this conformity to seeing the church as a corporation, a business venture, or a organization. I get that, but I can’t seem to give up on the idea that the church is a living organism, and that those who preach for selfish ambition are not the highest example of Christianity.

I need some of Paul’s vision, (see vs 18) in understanding the will of God, even amongst brothers who base thier ministry on rivalry with their brothers, even seeking to afflict their leader for their own benefit.

To afflict the apostle? What is going on with these guys?


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