Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The TREE OF LIFE weekly teaching summary from: October 19, 1997
Tree of Life 10/19/97
Here is the corrected translation of our passage:Philippians 1:15 “Certain ones on the one hand are proclaiming the Christ even from jealousy and strife, but certain ones on the other hand because of good motivation.”
Verse 1:16 “The latter category [those of good motivation] out of the motivation of love, are fully convinced that I am appointed for the defense of the good news.”
Verse 17 “The former category [those who are falsely motivated] from the motivation of divisive self-promotion proclaim the Christ not from pure motives since they presume to arouse mental distress with regard to my imprisonment.”
Verse 18 “What is my conclusion? Only that in every way, whether in false motivation or in true motivation, Christ is being proclaimed and in this I am happy, not only at this time, but I will continue to be happy.”
Many Christians are out to accomplish certain missions for self gain based on the demise of others. And though many of these Christians hold to a form of false doctrine they may present the gospel correctly and led people to Christ. In such, we should be happy for each soul lead to eternal salvation in Christ Jesus! We find this to be the apostle Paul’s attitude in our passage, this is also the Lord’s attitude and it should as well be the attitude of the believer in spiritual adulthood.
It is not the duty of any believer to scrutinize and/or criticize the false teachings of any ministry. That is the prerogative of God alone. The majority of Christian ministries entertain and offer a variety of false doctrines, yet some may present the gospel of Jesus Christ in some measure of accuracy and lead lost souls to Christ. In God’s mind this is reason enough to allow these false ministries to continue preaching. The good far out weighs the bad! And the sovereign will of God for all mankind is to is expressed in 1Timothy 2:4 “[God] desires all men to be saved and [part B of His sovereign will] to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
How is it all men are saved? John 5:24 gives us that answer, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life.” It is again noted in john 6:29 “Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” Cross reference these verses with John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” And, Acts 4:12 tells us that salvation is in no one else but Jesus Christ, cf Hebrews 5:9.
All this verses having been pointed out to emphasize that if just one or two of these verses is given in a gospel message lost souls can be eternally saved! And that is God’s will, for all men to be saved. Of course God’s perfect will does not always engage with man’s free will, so not all men will become saved in Christ Jesus. Though God the Father desires all men to be saved He cannot violate man’s free will. God rejoices in every saved soul and we too should learn to focus on the prospect of souls being saved rather than looking down upon the areas we deem to be inaccurate in any given ministry. As a believer in Christ we each need to focus on our own spiritual life before God and leave other believers and other ministries to God’s care. And even if we do not agree with a certain ministry we should be happy that there are believers in Christ within that ministry who are in turn leading others to Christ. What they do with their spiritual life after salvation is NONE OF OUR BUSINESS! Rejoice in that they are eternally saved rather than eternally damned! What ultimately matters is the eternal status of an individual. If the gospel of Jesus Christ has been presented and just one person is now eternally secured in Christ, for this reason be happy.
Yet many believers are antagonistic toward believers in other ministries and attack and hate due to discrepancies in doctrines. 1John 4:20 tells us that if a believer hates another fellow believer in Christ there is no way he can love God! When a believer harbors hate his claim to love God is a fraud! YET, even if they do not love God they can offer the gospel to unbelievers and save souls so back off and mind your own business!
Unfortunately the majority of ministries established in the name of Christ are not done so due to the love for Christ, the love for the word of God, and so on, but for selfish gain, for approbation, for self-promotion…or rather bad motivation. And Paul is telling us that whether Christ is proclaimed from true motivation or false motivation He is still being proclaimed and people can be saved. This is not to say that after being saved the believer should remain under inaccurate teaching though it is to say that the gospel can be found in many places. Many in Rome were motivated to preach the gospel, however, some were spiritually motivated by Bible doctrine and others were motivated by the flesh for personal recognition. Verses 14 through 18 of Phi 1 reveal that these were all believers and Paul was rejoicing that Christ was being preached even from those with false motivation.
Many believers are at different levels of spiritual growth but they speak the truth concerning salvation, i.e., faith alone in Christ alone. The issue being, people are getting saved. And though there is nothing wrong with making mistakes there is everything wrong in NOT making the proper adjustments, but again that is between the believer and God. You may have entertained disdain toward others ministries in the past but if they are leading people to Christ be happy and carry on with your own spiritual life. Human nature, whether it’s inside the church or out, will be affected by jealousy, envy, rivalry, and partisanship in evil endeavors. None of us are good enough to go around correcting anyone else! Romans 14:4 warns us to let God take care of His people. The falsely motivated group against Paul were basing their foundation on the personal attack of Paul yet Paul did not retaliate. He instead found happiness in that they were preaching Christ. And, that Paul found no fault with the content of their gospel shows that their problem was not doctrinal but personal. They were jealous of the attention Paul received and jealous of his rich doctrinal teaching and so they entered into strife and became opportunists with no regard for principles, ethics, nor consequences.
These opportunists thought that Paul would bitterly resent their success [transference arrogance] and so they thought to make Paul’s imprisonment even more irritating. They thought Paul was like them, petty, power-hungry, hypocrites. But Paul, being spiritually mature, was plugged into the perfect happiness of God and found their preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ to be a reason to rejoice as the Royal Family Honor Code instills, Romans 12:15; 1Corinthians 12:26. These opportunists regarded Paul’s imprisonment as an act of divine discipline and that is how they drew some of Paul’s disciples away from him. They claimed that if Paul were not under divine discipline he would be released from prison as he was in the past. Therefore, God appointed them instead of Paul! Rather than desiring to snuff these idiots out, Paul puts aside his reputation and personal feelings and rejoices in Christ being preached. It takes spiritual advance to disregard your own personal feelings in order to elevate the name and person of Christ over self. Hence, many positive believers were inspired by Paul and defended the gospel of grace being motivated by love for God and for Paul.
Another reason these falsely motivated preachers were teaching so boldly was in hope of irritating Nero to the point of taking his frustrations out on Paul in thinking they were all of the same group. Yet even in view of this animosity the viewpoint Paul had and we must have toward evil directed at us is given in MAR 9:38-40. We are not to attack, retaliate, take our own revenge, or attempt to destroy them! Our Lord’s answer to such an attitude is given in Luke 9:51-56, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of, for the Son of man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”
So, whether a person is pretending or is true doesn’t matter, if they are leading people to Christ be happy in that. Your attitude should be this ‘They are talking about my Lord and Savior! Let them preach!’ They may put forth an accurate morsel that God the Holy Spirit can use to minister to the listener. The verbal action of witnessing, whether from a true or false motivation, does bring out the name of Christ and present Christ as an issue to people so rejoice! A great point to reach in one’s spiritual life is when you do not make an issue out of self but CHRIST. On the other hand, a petty person is someone who is of small importance, is trivial and is marked by narrowness of mind, ideas, or views, and is mean and lacks generosity. The issue in your life should be YOU being right before Christ not you correcting others in Christ.
So, Paul is able to ignore all the pettiness that surrounds him and be happy in that there are souls being brought to Christ. Paul is minus the hang-ups in the soul that come with concentration on self. To Paul life is meaningful and living is Christ. Paul realized that false motivation on the part of believers is God’s business and not his. He also ignored the false teaching and false motivation and found happiness in the fact that Christ was being proclaimed to the citizens of Rome. Furthermore, his happiness was perpetuated regardless of any personal changes in circumstances or catastrophes of history. Paul discovered that the secret to true happiness is within the soul, not in one’s circumstances! Therefore, his happiness will and does continue since it is based on doctrine resident in the soul and not in what others are doing. The super-grace interpretation of history is that catastrophe and disaster in history cannot change the blessing or happiness of the mature believer. If you stick with the plan of God things will work out for the better. This leads us to a study of the doctrine of happiness which we will cover in next weeks “Tree of Life”.
Tapes available this week: 0190-113 Doc: Motivation. Philippians 1:15“>PHI 1:15; MAT 16:21-23; 1CO 4:5; HEB 4:12-13; MAR 7:14-23
0190-114 The real reason and the motivation certain individuals were faithful to Paul 10-12-97 and why some were not. Phi 1;16-17; 1PE 3:15; 1John 4:20“>1JO 4:20
1090-115 Some from the motivation of divisive self-promotion proclaim Christ, not from pure motives. PHI 1:15-17; 3:2; 2CO 11:4; GAL 1:6-9; PRO 24:16; Romans 14:410-14-97
0190-116 Paul’s happiness could not be removed by those who were vindictive and revengeful toward him. PHI 1:18; Mar 12;40; MAT 10:34-36; 2TI 3:16; 4;2
0190-117 Doc: Happiness, prt 1. An introduction and description of happiness.
PHI 1:18; 4:4-8, 11-13; HEB 13:5; 1PE 1:3-8; PRO 3:13; 23:7; 17:22.
0190-118 Doc: Happiness, prt 2. Definition and vocabulary. PSA 1:1; 32:1-2;
MAT 5:3-12; 1TI 6:6; 2CO 9:8; 12:9; 1TI 6:8; REV 12:9
**Note: These doctrines are zipped and needs a unzipping utility to view them.**