Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:…
I. THE ELEMENTS FORMATIVE OF IT.
1. An imperfect apprehension of Christ's mission.
2. A total absence of Christ's Spirit.
3. Thought and sympathy, narrowed by early prejudice and preconceived ideas.
4. Christ made subservient to the doctrines, ritual, and history of a system.
II. THE RESULTS INSEPARABLE FROM IT.
1. The cross degraded into a rallying point for party strife.
2. The basest spirit indulged under the pretence of fulfilling a sacred office.
(1) "Envy" — displeasure at another's good.
(2) "Strife" — selfish rivalry which seeks to gain the good belonging to another. Christ preached merely to advance a party.
4. Zeal for propagating a creed, greater than to save a lost world.
III. THE GERM OF IT.
1. May exist in those who zealously preach Christ.
2. Consists in a moral contradiction between the heart of the preacher and the theme of his discourse — contentiousness and Christ.
3. Produces impurity of motive in Christian work — "not sincerely."
4. Biases the judgment to expect results which are never realized — "supposing."
5. Inspires aims which are unchristian — "to add affliction."
(G. G. Ballard.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: