When Paul was down for the count and in prison, others began rising up in his place. They were teaching doctrine that competed with what Paul was teaching, not because they were right but because the motives of their hearts were about themselves. They were teaching out of a heart of jealousy, competition, and misguided ambition.
As the body, we should be doing our best to work towards the same goals of teaching the gospel through hearts of purity and unity with one another. It’s important that we make sure the motives of our hearts are not about us but rather the furthering of the gospel for the sake of Jesus’ life. I do believe it is important to God that we each recognize our value but we must also remain pure and humble before the Lord and one another. Pure and humble hearts recognize each person’s importance to God and realize that the furthering of the gospel must be accomplished through hearts of love.
Paul says in the verses above that those who were preaching Christ out of goodwill and a loyal spirit towards him were preaching Christ out of a heart of love. The others were preaching out of a competitive spirit and misguided ambition which caused them to preach Christ insincerely out of self-ambition and self-promotion.
Let us be children of God who are not out for ourselves. Who are not merely following Christ and preaching the word out of selfish ambition and self-promotion, but may we be a BODY of Christ Jesus promoting one another and preaching the word of God through hearts of love. Hearts of love for our Savior, for our brothers and sisters in Christ, and for this world that desperately needs the truth of the gospel.
“Be free from pride-filled opinions, for they will only harm your cherished unity. Don’t allow self-promotion to hide in your hearts, but in authentic humility put others first and view others as more important than yourselves. 4 Abandon every display of selfishness. Possess a greater concern for what matters to others instead of your own interests. 5 And consider the example that Jesus, the Anointed One, has set before us. Let his mindset become your motivation.” Philippians 2:3-5