Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Joy in the Gospel

15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. 16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defence of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretence or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.Phil 1:12-18

So we find the Apostle Paul in prison awaiting trial, facing death. At the same time some preachers who just don’t like him are getting off on preaching Christ so that things will get worse for Paul.

That’s low. I would be crazy mad. I’d be praying down fire on their heads. But we find Paul rejoicing because Christ is proclaimed even when the motive is wrong.

The man and the message had captivated Paul’s whole being to the point that what happened to him was of no consequence.. Christ was enough. Not when he was planting a new church, preaching at some revival or singing in a beautiful auditorium that’s air-conditioned and has comfy seats. But he was enough in the stench and staleness of a cell facing death any day. Jesus was enough.

When we truly get the Gospel + nothing = everything, it will revolutionise our lives. The Gospel does not guarantee your best life now it guarantees wicked sinful people an eternity with the Holy and Perfect Son of God – Jesus.

And the fact that this message is being shared with other wicked people becomes the consuming passion of Paul’s life. We must be PASSIONATE ABOUT PEOPLE. Lost people matter to God, so they must matter to us.

They mattered to Paul. Outside of prison he preached the Gospel. Inside the prison he preached the Gospel to all the other prisoners and the whole imperial guard!


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