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  • East Martin CRC

Jealous or Zealous?

Philippians 1:12-26

Verse 15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill.

As Paul starts diving into the heart of his letter, he makes the point that there are growing numbers out there preaching about Christ. He needed them to understand the same thing we need to keep in mind and understand, not all those who preach the Gospel are doing it for the same reason.

Paul says that some are preaching the Good News about Jesus out of envy and rivalry. While this may seem unbelievable that someone would preach for those reasons we only need to look around at popular preachers today and know that Paul was accurate not just for his generation but for ours too. But if it is true what does it look like in our world and what do we do about it?

While Christianity is becoming less and less accepted, there are still those who claim Christ and may even promote Him without it being from a heart devoted to Him. It has become easy to claim Jesus without living a life to back up those words. It would be easy to discount those who claim Him in a loose and shallow way, and yet Jesus didn’t do that with such people in His time and Paul didn’t either.

The main thing to watch out for is false teaching. As long as it isn’t false information being proclaimed about Christ, we shouldn’t be concerned while we continue to speak the full truth we know about Him. Our concerns should come when we hear things that aren’t truth. There are plenty of lies about Christ spoken in our culture. Things like, “Jesus was just a good man” or “Jesus was married” and other things like this mar Jesus’ character and His message.

There are others that speak about Christ with the good thoughts of others. These are people who are wanting to know Him for who He is. They hope that others will see the truth of Christ so that lives will be changed and that the kingdom will grow.

The question we must ask ourselves is which of these kinds of people are we? If we are only casual in our faith life, we will be speaking of Christ but it may not be in the most effective manner. But if we are solid in our faith we can bring life to those around us and bring glory to His name.

Making It Personal

Do you struggle identifying truthful teaching about Jesus? Do you readily speak truth about Jesus? How do you know the truth about Him?

Making It Personal Kids

How easy is it to tell if someone is telling the truth about Jesus? Do you know the truth about Jesus? Do you tell the truth about Jesus?

Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for giving us the truth about Your Son. Give us the wisdom to know when to intervene in someone speaking falsely about You. And give us the courage to speak boldly the truth about You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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