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Philippians, Chapter One, Lesson Three

ENCOURAGING THE BRETHREN            Page 5
V.17 (Cont'd.)

** Is it possible for a Christian to turn inward, becoming selfish and ambitious, so as to promote their own popularity, rather than the cause of Christ?

Of course! We are sinners who can easily feed our flesh, even when we know we should be starving it. (Remember - Romans 13:14)

** What did they think their actions would accomplish?

They wanted to cause Paul "distress in [his] imprisonment." This is cold hearted self-centeredness, and it was being done by the Christian leaders no less. We need to view these despicable actions through godly eyes, lest we too be tempted. cf. Galatians 6:1

V.18 ** We need to remember that Paul is "Encouraging the Brethren" with this letter. How does he do that in the light of such sinful motives by others?

By bringing attention to the only thing that matters. "What then?" - Invites us to read the heart of Paul, what is important to him?

He has a truly joyful response to the proclamation of the truth, while at the same time he is not concerned with getting back at those who would harm him. It is very encouraging indeed to see someone selflessly committed to Jesus Christ and the proclamation of His truth!

** What is it that causes Paul to rejoice?

"...Christ is proclaimed..."

** Is Paul saying that he is rejoicing in the gospel being proclaimed, if it is truthful or not?

No - He is not referring to the message as being one of "pretense or truth", but the messenger.

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