Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
How Paul would have rejoiced had he been living now. The ministry at Rome must have been on a comparatively insignificant scale. But for every man who preached the gospel then thousands are preaching it now. Why should there have been such rejoicing in connection with the preaching of Christ crucified.
I. Because thereby THE RENOVATION OF FALLEN MAN IS INTELLIGENTLY PROPOSED.
1. High time, by common consent, something was done in that direction, and many are the projects suggested for it.
(1) Give the people a sound secular education.
(2) Give them remunerative employment.
(3) Confer upon them honourable enfranchisement.
(4) Take care to raise them into better and more civilized habits by better dwellings, food, etc.
(5) Educate their tastes, open museums and art galleries.
2. Can you look at these laudable secondary considerations without marking their fatal defect? They deal with man externally and say not a word about his internal renovation. If you leave a man's heart untouched there is that there which will laugh all your culture to scorn. If his heart be right all will be right, but not otherwise.
3. The gospel aims at making the heart right, and succeeds wherever it is accepted.
II. Because thereby THE RENOVATION IS GRACIOUSLY GUARANTEED.
1. With the preaching of Christ God has formally connected the exertion of His power. "With God all things are possible." The preacher is a fellow worker with God.
2. With this preaching God has been pleased to associate the accomplishment of His purposes.
3. He has identified with preaching the manifestation of His sympathies.
(W. Brock, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: