Can You Please Explain Philippians 1:15-18?
Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of rivalry, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice (Philippians 1:15-18)
The overarching point of this passage is that God, in his gracious sovereignty, turns even prison and bad motives into the advancement of the gospel. “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel” (Philippians 1:12).
But the most surprising thing about this text is the way Paul’s celebration of gospel truth overrides his sorrow at defective motives.
He rejoices that Christ is proclaimed. But some of the proclaimers are sinning…