| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 4 & 5 - Page 24 of 161 Index | Zoom | |
Those who preached out of goodwill were actuated by love. True, in Phil. 1:, love is
linked with knowledge. First, in the prayer of verse 9, the apostle who desired that they
may have knowledge and discernment and ability to "try the things which differed" asks
that "their love may abound." Knowledge without love would have given an acid tongue
and a pharisaic spirit. In the passage immediately before us love is linked with
knowledge. Some regarded the imprisonment of the apostle as a judgment from God, but
others knew that he had been "set" for the defence of the gospel. In his noble endurance
they loved him the more, and, moved by love out of goodwill, carried on the work he
loved so well.
There is a solemn note struck here to which we should all give heed. The matter of
the preaching was excellent. All preached Christ. The motive, however, was diverse.
Those who preached Christ of envy and strife, of contention and retence, did so "not
sincerely." The word for sincere is rendered "chaste" in II Cor. 11: 2, and "pure" in
Phil. 4: 8, while the noun "pureness" occurs in II Cor. 6: 6 (see parallel though different
word in II Cor. 2: 17). This reference leads us to see how the apostle ever sought to make
his "doctrine, purpose, manner of life" agree. "Whatsoever things are honest. . . . if
there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (logizesthe) think, reckon, impute these
things" (Phil. 4: 8). He knew that Christ was preached of envy and strife, of contention
and hatred, but he meets it with the glorious "WHAT THEN? Christ is preached." Stop
there! he seems to say. Go no further. The Lord alone has the right to judge men and
motives; if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, I will reckon these things, I will
think on these things. WHAT THEN? Christ is preached, and I rejoice.
The readers of this magazine may at times find themselves the objects of hatred,
malice, misrepresentation. Meet it beloved readers with Paul's "What then." If reviled,
revile not again, if suffering, threaten not; you are in good hands. The perfect One
Himself never attempted self-vindication; how much less His failing followers. If these
few words are of any consolation, it is only in fulfilment of the passage, "the God of all
comfort, Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them
which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God"
(II Cor. 1: 3, 4).