“What then? But that in every manner, either with a pretext or in truth, Christ is being declared and in this I rejoice…but rather, I rejoice!”
Here you go…this is the mindset that we are talking about…here is a man who is focused on the goal above all else…he is focused on Christ and upon Christ’s glory. How easy it is for us to lose sight of this. Paul is saying, look, folks, there are lots of people who are preaching Christ to gain attention, to gain favors, to gain a reputation for themselves, and even to cause me distress…but Christ is still being proclaimed!
Loved ones, do you see what it is that Paul is saying here? It is easy for us to decry bad denominations and self-serving preachers…and there is a time and a place to do that (see Paul’s language in Galatians!), but at the same time, there are often people who are being gloriously saved in spite of the bad churches and self-seeking preachers. Indeed, this is just one more testimony to the sovereignty of God in all things, particularly in our salvation.
The sad thing, I think, is that I often fear that while we do rejoice as God’s people, often we rejoice over all of the wrong things. Or, we at least, rejoice primarily over earthly things that are transient at best. Shall we rejoice? Most certainly! Yet, let us rejoice in Christ! Let us rejoice in one who is eternal and who offers eternal life! Let us rejoice in the one who is the source of all our hope and joy and promise. This world is passing away…in the scope of eternity, our time here is as dust in the wind. Why focus here? Why not focus on the one from whom glory gets its meaning. Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God! How shall earthly things compare to that? They cannot! Indeed, they cannot! It is Christ and Christ alone in whom we must find that joy and when Christ is proclaimed, let us rejoice.