Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
I. Let us inquire WHAT THE APOSTLE INTENDED BY THE PREACHING OF CHRIST.
1. The exhibition of Jesus as the Messiah sent to save a guilty world."(1) Such a messenger had been set forth by prophecy and types from the beginning.
(2) He was exhibited as truly human, sinless, Divine.
2. The publication of His great work, and ultimate design in visiting this world.
(1) To atone for sin.
(2) To confer eternal life.
3. The assertion of His claims on all mankind.
(1) To their love.
(2) To their obedience.
II. GLORIOUS AS THIS THEME IS, YET MANY PREACH IT FROM CORRUPT MOTIVES.
1. Some for gain — money, position, influence.
2. Some for victory in a controversial battle.
3. Yet if Christ is really preached, whatever may be the condemnation of the preacher, Christ's end will he secured.
III. THE REASONS WHY THE PREACHING OF CHRIST, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, IS A JUST OCCASION FOR HOLY JOY.
1. By this means the enemies of Christ are made to bear unequivocal testimony to His dignity and glory, and to promote the interests of truth without intending it: as the heathen writers quoted by Paul, and the devils' confession of Christ.
2. As the world can only be renovated by the preaching of Christ, so even His enemies who preach Him contribute to this event. Think of the heathen world; the acceptance of Christ in any sense and from any hands cannot but better it.
3. We may be assured that God will certainly overrule the preaching of Christ, even by wicked men, to accomplish His purpose of mercy. In much inferior matters God controls the movements of bad men for His own glory. He did so in the case of Judas. Is it not then correct to argue that if God sub ordinates the malignity, ambition, and haughtiness of men to the accomplishment of His providential purposes, He will also overrule them to serve His designs of mercy? Witness the Reformation under Henry VIII.
1. Our cause for rejoicing is exceedingly great. Notwithstanding there are many parts where the gospel is imperfectly preached, yet there are thousands of holy men who preach Christ from the purest motives.
2. Let us manifest our gratitude to Him who is preached by a more lively zeal in His cause.
3. Let us who love Christ draw into closer union with one another. If we allow bickering and strife while Christ's cause may prosper we shall be ruined.
4. Let the despondent be encouraged — anyhow Christ is preached. The gospel is advancing in spite of our fears.
(Isaac Mann, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: