Why Was Paul Nice to Bad Preachers?

Philippians 1:15–18


In this lab, Pastor John answers why Paul would curse the false pastors in Galatia, while being patient with the bad preachers trying to afflict him in Philippi.

Principle for Bible Reading

The Already and Not Yet

We live in an overlap of two ages: the present age of sin and death, and the coming age of Christ’s complete reign. We are no longer just in the age of fallen humanity because Christ has come and ushered in his kingdom into this age (Matthew 12:28; Luke 17:20–21).

We live in the age of already and not yet: caught between winter and summer, death and eternal bliss, Christ’s first and second coming. A lot of texts must be understood in light of this reality.

Study Questions

  1. Has another Christian ever sought to hurt you in their desire to be thought well of? How did you respond?
  2. Why was Paul patient with those who displayed envy, rivalry, and selfish ambition in Philippians 1:15–18? What does he say about this later in the letter (Philippians 2:3–4)?
  3. Why would Paul be lenient towards those in Philippi when he was intolerant of those in Galatia (Galatians 1:6–9)?