8 June 2019
Through his faith in Christ, Paul has found a rare contentment. On the one hand, he is unaffected by the prospect of living or dying. If he is freed from prison, there is so much more he could do for the church. If he is sentenced to death, there would be no loss but a greater gain. ‘For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain!’
On the other hand, he is unaffected by the motivation of fellow Christians. Some proclaim Christ out of love or goodwill. Others out of envy, rivalry or selfish ambition. And there are some twisted people who proclaim Christ ‘intending to increase my suffering in imprisonment’! And what does Paul have to say about this?
Is he angry? Is he disappointed? Is he ready to fling in the towel? Not a bit of it! ‘What does it matter?’ he asks. ‘Just this, that Christ is proclaimed in every way, whether out of false motives or true; and in that I rejoice!’ The bigger picture, the broader perspective, the field of grace, the vision of Christ’s kingdom come!