“What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.” (Philippians 1:18)
This verse seems to conflict with warnings about false teachers (2 Peter 2:1) and another gospel (Galatians 1:6-9). The key is identifying what Paul is allowing on the one hand and condemning on the other.
Some teachers of his day (probably both in Philippi and in Rome) appeared to be taking advantage of Paul’s imprisonment to enhance their own reputations. Indeed, some were trying through their public preaching to “add affliction to [his] bonds” (Philippians 1:16).
Even though some with ungodly motives stood out among those preaching of “good will,” Paul was able to rejoice that “Christ is preached” (today’s text) by both categories, and therein is the source of the “power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16).
The stern denunciation of “another gospel” (Galatians 1:6) exposes the untruth of all hybrid messages, whether human or angelic, that would attempt to preach anything other than “Christ, and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
Here is the message for us. When the full gospel of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection—according to the Scriptures—is preached (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) by whatever means and even under sometimes questionable motives, the “good news” is cause for rejoicing. It is the gospel that has power, not the messenger.
However, when some people attempt to change that gospel to make it seem more attractive to those who wish to continue in sin, or change its message to allow for human works, we are to see such preachers as dangerous and under condemnation. May God keep us from both mistakes. HMM III
From Days of Praise