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Understanding Opposition - 4

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
March 6, 2022 6:00 pm

Understanding Opposition - 4

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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March 6, 2022 6:00 pm

In this message from Philippians 1, we see the Apostle Paul demonstrate the right attitude toward trials and ministry opposition. Pastor Greg Barkman continues his systematic exposition.

Grace To You
John MacArthur
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Erwin Lutzer
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Nikita Koloff
What's Right What's Left
Pastor Ernie Sanders

We come to work committee is an exceedingly interesting and instructive structure of the book of Philippians, Paul has opened the epistle by formally expressing his love for the believers in the city of Philippi, he has assured them of his unknown ending prayers for their spiritual welfare and progress.

But now he addresses some of their fears. Some of their fears are very similar to the type of fears which we have as well. Paul shows them how to understand and respond properly to opposition in their lives.

Paul was well experienced in opposition he had suffered opposition, virtually from the first day of his conversion onward, so he knew what that was like. And even now as he writes this epistle he's imprisoned in Rome, for the sake of the gospel, yet he is not discouraged is not defeated.

We see no note of self-pity in the entire epistle. No complaints to God for allowing a servant of his who has served him faithfully to be confined in prison. None of that, but rather rejoicing in God's goodness in his life, and confident that God is using his circumstances. Even now, for the glory of Christ to the advancement of the gospel. In this example from the apostle Paul would be well emulated by us who are the children of the Lord Jesus Christ today so looking at the section, verses 12 through 18. I see three things number one, a surprising declaration number two and encouraging explanation number three and instructive delineation surprising declaration of a surprising to the common way of thinking. When Paul says in verse 12 that I want you to know, brethren, that the things which have happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel that we don't know what the Philippians had communicated to him about their concerns for his imprisonment. We can well imagine that their idea was that Paul's imprisonment was a kindreds to the gospel were probably praying fervently for Paul's release. What's going to happen to the cause of the gospel of the apostle Paul is no longer able to travel is no longer able to preach is no longer able to plant churches as he's been doing so effectively for so many years.

What if Paul is executed in his life comes to an end of his powerful ministry comes to an end. What will happen to the cause of Christ into the advance of the gospel. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear God, please, please, please release Paul from prison. I thought no doubt that Paul's imprisonment was hindering the gospel in the Paul's imprisonment was discouraging. The apostle Paul and Paul writes to assure them that neither of those things is true is imprisonment is not hindering the gospel and he is not discouraged because of the circumstance. What did Paul want them to know one of them to know that his trials furthered the gospel rather than hindering it. He wanted them to know that God had overruled his trials of the evil that was behind them for good that his trials furthered the gospel contrary to human reasoning because we tend to view even the gospel of Christ, which we know was a divine work and carried out by divine power and yet our thinking is such so earthbound that so many times we view the progress of the gospel in terms of of human achievement, human progress, human ability, but God help us to get out of that mindset. Paul's trial is furthering, not hindering the gospel of Christ, contrary to human reasoning and contrary to the fearful anticipations that we so often fail.

This is yet another example of which there are so many of God overruling the evil for good.

He has done it before and he's doing it once again the Jews no doubt intended. Paul's imprisonment for evil. They wanted to confining the one of the containing they wanted to kill it. That was their intention. The Romans became the unwilling accomplices of the Jews. They been kind of tricked into into getting Paul into the situation where he is now imprisoned in Rome.

But in spite of the evil of the religious Jews and the lack of wisdom of the Roman authorities. Nevertheless, Paul is a God is overruling all of this for good, all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose by Joseph and his brothers remember how malicious where their thoughts toward Joseph, how much they hated him how much the wanted to be rid of him how much some of them wanted to kill him and others shrinking back from that extreme wanted to get rid of him vice selling him into slavery into Egypt. They met at all for evil, and then one day when they're down in Egypt getting the food they need to keep from starving to death. Joseph reveals himself to them and he said you meant it for evil but God meant it for good.

God overruled your evil, for he is good purpose.

That's the God of the Bible.

That's the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

That's the God that I believe in.

That's the God that I serve. How about you is your God able to do that, the one true God. Of course, but is your concept of God and what you think about what you think of God, the way you relate to God and to the circumstances of life. Is it in that fashion that you know that God is able to, and does regularly overruled the bad circumstances of life for good purposes of his own.

Christ's enemies crucified him out of evil malicious intent. They thought to destroy him. But God designed all of that God allow that God God utilized all that to accomplish eternal redemption.

Christ had to die. He had to dine across yet the dock at the hands of sinners.

He had to suffer and to rise again from the dead. He had to do that in order to redeem a people unto himself. So all the evil which they did.

Turned out to be good glory hallelujah praise the Lord I think about Martin Luther, who after the trial at firms, worms, the diet of worms was captured by what turned out to be friends of his, but you could tell that of the time captured by masked soldiers and taken to a castle and put into hiding in confinement for about a year and 1/2 or what could happen to the Reformation now the mighty leader of the Reformation is not able to preach is not able to travel is not able to rally people to the cause of the Reformation. What in the world is going to happen to this mighty Reformation mouth until he was going to happen.

Martin Luther is going to translate the Scriptures and German language that is going to spread all across Germany and is going to inflame the Reformation, to a degree that never would've been possible if he hadn't been forced to be in confinement where he had time and quietness and lack of distraction to translate the Scriptures and the German God over ruled evil for good. Think about John Bunyan thrown in Bedford jail. This mighty preacher untrained, uneducated in the ways of the world by any human school, but such a powerful preacher that the great John Owens who was asked by the king. Why do you go here at Tinker preach and he said oh, if I I would give all my education, all my learning if I could just preach like this man, mighty preacher and thrown into jail for it for years on end. What's going to happen to the cause of the gospel with that confined preacher will tell you one thing is going to happen is going to write the Pilgrim's progress which is going to become the best-selling book in all the world next to the Bible still is understand amazing.

Who could've thought of that big heart who could have designed that God of God overrules evil for good. And here it is again. Paul's imprisoned in Rome. Oh dear, oh dear, what's going to happen to the cause of the gospel pulses. Don't you worry don't you worry, God has already planned all of this is using it for the advancement of the gospel, not for the containment of the gospel. I want you to know, brethren, that the things which have happened to me have actually turned out the gospel.

What an amazing amazing reality, Paul's concern, you see, was not for his own comfort he would've been more comfortable if he had not been changed to a Roman soldier that had to be mighty inconvenient for just think about that to spend your whole life 24 seven on one end of a chain that is probably two or 3 feet long and the other industry into a Roman soldier. The soldiers get a break every six hours. They change soldiers. Somebody else comes replaces the one that's there but no relief for Paul gets no written break it six hours or anytime, day after day week after week, month after month, year after year he was there for at least a couple years. Paul's uncomfortable. He would've been a whole lot more comfortable out of imprisonment than in imprisonment.

But that doesn't bother me law it all is not saying I was in this awful string hurts my wrist. I'm not.

I don't have freedom. This is this is so inconvenient. This is so hard to live with. I trained was soldier.

I can hardly even get a good nights rest because every time I turn the trains client every time so the soldier moves the chains client and I can't even get a decent nights rest. All this awful awful awful pray pray pray that God will release me from this no known about his concern is not for his own comfort. His concern is for the advancement of the gospel is that he says is I look at what's happening here.

I see God's using it for the furtherance of the gospel, not for the hindrance of the gospel. I want you to know that his greatest concern is for the cause of Christ and for the advancement of the gospel, not his own comfort that we would learn all that I would learn the goods and kindred go, this mortal life. Also, his body, they may kill, but God's truth abided still. His kingdom is forever and ever and ever. And so piles surprising declaration in verse 12, is that he is confinement accomplished more than his freedom. But in verses 13 through 15.

We have an encouraging explanation as Paul goes on to give some of the details of how this is happening.

How is your confinement working out for the advancement of the gospel and Paul tells us number one. That is, imprisonment spreads the gospel message number two that his imprisonment emboldened the church in Rome. Number three the Paul's imprisonment multiplied gospel preachers, three weddings that his imprisonment further the cause of the gospel number one.

His imprisonment spread the gospel message verse 13 and so it has become evident to the whole palace guard and to all the rest that my chains are in Christ throughout the whole palace guard the pray for Jo. That's where the sometimes referred to a building building Pretoria building a palace, a large government facility. But here it's referring to people it's referring to the soldiers who are assigned to guard the palace where the Emperor resides in the famous praetorian guard was an elite group of soldiers who were assigned to the city of Rome to his more than anything else, guard the Emperor and keep him safe. They were the elite of the elite.

They were the Green Berets of the Roman army nine cohort ports of them about 9000 men of the praetorian guard and they receive double the pay of other soldiers and they had other special benefits their barracks were rough their barracks were nice they were.

They were housed in the hotel, the Hilton, the Roman Hilton. They were they were at the house and some old rough barracks. They had some wonderful privileges because they were the best of the best and they were expected to do their job well, and these were the soldiers that were guarding the apostle Paul every six hours. Another one every six hours. Another one we don't know exactly how the rotation went, but it could be that he never had the same soldier twice instead of looking at is an inconvenience. Paul said well here comes another what I got six hours to witness to this guy. He can't go anywhere. I'm not complaining about my confinement. I am amazed and amused at his confinement. He can't go anywhere.

He kept the Stop from listening to the gospel.

He's he's trained to me straight into a gospel messenger he's got to listen. He can't walk away so for six hours Paul witnesses to this buyout and he goes off duty for six more hours Paul witnesses to another man, he goes off duty at six more hours Paul witnesses to another man, he goes off duty and no man comes out pulses. I gotta get a little bit of sleep.

But before I go to sleep. Let me tell you about Jesus Christ. And when I wake up. If you're still here. I'll tell you more about Jesus Christ and supposing that he never had the same guard twice how many guards did he have in the course of a couple years it would've would've thought eventually numbered into a couple thousand more of his famous praetorian guard and they went back to the Erickson. They talked about the strange prisoner who was unlike any prisoner they had ever known before, and it was very evident today them that he was not really a criminal. He had not broken any Roman law they became aware that he was he was there as a prisoner of Jesus Christ and for the cause of the gospel and some of them believe the gospel, and they shared it with others. So the gospel is spreading throughout the praetorian guard impulses, and to all the rest. That is the rest of the citizens of Rome, the praetorian guard had friends and family out in Roman Heath. They told them what was going on and they were telling others at the biggest news of the day throughout the whole city of Rome was this unusual prisoner in under praetorian guard and they were all hearing about the gospel of Christ.

Because of Paul's imprisonment.

The gospel spreading in a way that if he didn't freak. It would not spread that far he would've preached, but he would never reach this many people he would've witness, but he wouldn't wouldn't have witnessed this many. What an amazing thing it is.

He's confined in prison and he reaches more people than he's ever has in his freedom, Paul's imprisonment spread the gospel message number two. Paul's imprisonment emboldened the church. Verse 14, and most of the brethren of the Lord, having become confident by my chains are much more bold to speak the word without fear. Most of the brethren in the Lord have become more bold because of my confidence. Paul's courage inspired courage and others. Several course, that's the way it usually happens will not way it necessarily usually happens is the way it sometimes happens. But sometimes it happens the other way. Look what happened to Paul for preaching the gospel of God imprisonment. I don't want that to happen to me to be careful to quiet. This often has the effect of causing people to be more afraid, more cautious, more careful, more unwilling to proclaim the gospel, but in this case, it had the exact opposite effect. His courage inspired them to greater boldness, greater courage, greater willingness to talk to others about the gospel know how to explain that affect rather than the other one is only one explanation, God caused it to happen that way. God stirred up within the members of the church at Rome, a courage that they did not have before they were inspired by the courage of the apostle Paul and they were now being more courageous than they were. What will increased opposition produce in the American church. I hope you will have this effect. Greater opposition is coming. I pray that it will have this effect. I fear that he could have the opposite effect.

Make Christians more fearful, more cowardly, more quiet. I heard this I was keeping my ear on what was going on in Ukraine this week and I have more time to do it because I was on vacation and I heard one report that went something like this.

Some Ukrainian soldiers that had with it with a small group of men and outmanned and out weapon to buy the Russians they had somehow defeated the a group of Russians and they said something like this. It's almost like a higher power was helping us. We really can't explain this and other non-Christians. I don't know God and yet the only way they can explain the success of what's taking place is that there must be a God who's helping them and how do you explain this unusual courage among the Ukrainians. You can see what Putman intended for to do the intended the role in there and intimidate them so that all lay down their arms and surrender. And there would be no opposition and somehow, inexplicably, really.

Somehow it had the opposite effect is made them bold made them willing to lay down their lives for their country. God did that God has a purpose and that I don't know what God is doing. But God did that even like he did with the Roman Christians these days of Paul's imprisonment. God stirred them up to greater courage supposes my imprisonment has spread the gospel message to the praetorian guard and throughout the city of Rome.

My imprisonment has emboldened the church with what else pulses. My imprisonment has multiplied gospel preachers verse 15 some indeed preach Christ. There will come back to the rest of that verse later, but some indeed preach Christ the Lord preach there is a form of the Greek word Kay Russo which is far as I can tell is always and only use in the New Testament of a gospel preacher public preacher once and referred to in verse 14 seems to be the members of the church in their boldness now to witness for the gospel without Paul seems to be speaking about another category of people. The, the preachers, the public preacher's in the church at Rome and they are now preaching with greater zeal and greater boldness than ever before. They are proclaiming is a herald, they are proclaiming publicly is only those who are able to do that. A gifted by God to do that are able to do and so a new wave of public preaching of the gospel has accompanied this new wave of the private witnessing of the gospel, which has accompanied the witnessing of the apostle Paul to the soldiers and by them to others throughout Rome. It is an amazing amazing declaration of the gospel is almost saturating the city of Rome and all because Paul is imprisoned is in prison and couldn't have happened if he had not been imprisoned with an amazing God we serve. We come now to the third consideration we sing. First, a surprising declaration of secondly and encouraging explanation. But now, thirdly, an instructive delineation in verses 15 through 1870 preach Christ even from envy and strife and some also from goodwill. The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains, but the latter out of love knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. What then only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached in this I rejoice and will rejoice the instructive delineation is that there are two categories of gospel preachers. Yes, there's a new way of gospel preaching, but it is being carried out by two different categories of gospel preachers and they are they they publicly seem to be the same.

Outwardly, they seem to be the same, but they actually fit into two very different categories. The Paul is aware of the God is there of some preach with wrong motives, and some preach with right motives. Paul is delineating between those two different groups. Some preach with wrong motives. Some he tells us in verse 15 preach from envy and strife. They are jealous of Paul and they are preaching out of strife that is out of an opposition born of envy monster is envy, jealousy in our English use of those terms is virtually synonymous. That's the reason Pilate and others knew that the Jews wanted to crucify Christ what was there motive envy Bible tells us that several times the opposition that the apostle Paul had in his ministry is ascribed to the envy of the Jews were jealous because he was preaching the gospel in great crowds were gathered to listen to him like they'd been trying to preach Moses for four decades and had been able to stir up that kind of interest in here comes along. Paul and people from all over the city are coming to listen to him.

They were envious of that and so they wanted to get rid of envy and strife motivate some of these preachers, selfish ambition, not sincerely, were told in verse 16 is ascribed to some of the selfish ambitions. They evidently endeavored to replace Paul. They they resent his honorable position.

The church in Rome was well-established when Paul got to Rome, there were undoubtedly a number preachers that were also well-established enrollment had a certain position of honor and esteem among the church there and then here comes the apostle Paul in prison.

But nevertheless, the apostle Paul, one who had written the book of Romans to them they'd receive that with great profit. They wanted whose reputation Preceded him and they knew that he was amazingly successful in evangelism and church planting the great apostle Paul comes to Rome and suddenly a lot of people are listening to him paying attention to him, honoring him and in the minds of some are taking away honor that should belong to them.

They'd like to see Paul quietude so that they can regain a higher position, and so they can enjoy the honor the summer giving to Paul. They're doing this out of selfish ambition, not sincerely that has to do with the purity of their motives for doing it hypocritically.

There preaching Christ.

But they're not preaching him with unmixed motives. I'm sure they have some side of them that the values the gospel and wants to preach great Christ, but it's intermixed with this this jealousy. This envy this self-seeking the self-centeredness that does not value the gospel of the same way that others evaluate they are again verse 16. Supposing to add affliction to my chains as Paul.

How does that work well. Paul's position as an apostle, and his success in the work of the gospel caused them pain should cause them joy should have been rejoicing in it but instead it caused them pain and anguish. I resent the fact that he's more successful than I am.

I resent the fact that he has a higher position than I do.

I resent the fact that some people are looking more to him than to me and they assumed that he was just like them and that their success would cause him pain since his success caused them pain.

They assumed that their success would cause him pain and so they double their efforts in preaching the gospel to preaching zealously there trying to be successful there. Trying to tote to call attention to their gospel preaching there hoping that the report of their great preaching is go to reach the years. The apostle Paul and he's going to be just as pained by this excesses. They work by his success, but of course they didn't know the heart of the apostle Paul.

Far from it. He was rejoicing in their success so they had a zeal for the preaching the gospel, but it was born out of impure motives.

These are preachers of sound doctrine. What there preaching the message there preaching is right on their Orthodox the right to correct is nothing wrong with the message that there preaching, but their hearts are not right with God.

God knows that Paul knows that.

So some preach with wrong motives, and some preach with right motive.

Some preach from goodwill verse 15 it is a goodwill toward what goodwill toward men out of concern for their souls. No doubt, but is used. Think of it all in context, it's clear summer preaching out of goodwill toward Paul. They don't have animosity and envy and resentment toward Paul. Just the opposite. They have goodwill toward Paul. They appreciate him.

They want to help him in his work there thrilled that God has sent such a successful apostle to their city and so there preaching from goodwill toward Paul and out of love.

We read in verse 17 again toward Paul certainly love for Christ love for his word love for the souls of men, but in this context, love for Paul. They left him.

They love his position they love. His success they love what he stands for.

They love his ministry and they are delighted for the opportunity of preaching freely out of prison while Paul is confined in prison and thereby helping him in his ministry just to be a little helper to the apostle Paul will give them the greatest delight. Their desire is to serve Christ, not themselves. Paul says they're doing is knowing verse 17 that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel, by the way some manuscripts. Verses 16 and 17 are reversed.

So if you have a different princely elation than I do. That may be true in your case and I may be giving the wrong number of the verses, but the content of the verses is the same and he says in verse 17, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. Paul says they recognize God's calling upon my life.

They recognize Christ commission to Christ as commission to be to be an apostle that I am appointed they recognize the unusual success that God has given to Paul. I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. I'm appointed for the success of the gospel. I am appointed for the success of evangelism. I'm appointed for the successful planting of churches. You look at at the descriptions upon the Bible and you say how does this little unimpressive man have such an amazing ministry. Some such amazing fruitfulness. According to his own testimony. He's not much of a preacher is not imposing is not an impressive personality.

He has health problems that hinder him and yet he hit. He is from all the weak evidence that we can read the most successful gospel preacher in the first century everywhere he goes he preaches the gospel and people fall on their faces before God. How do you account for that. Only one thing God above is doing that almost everywhere he goes he is able to establish churches in and leave a church behind some people toil for years for decades to establish a church and find it a great struggle. Some give up.

But Paul goes and after a short time. He's got a church that he leaves behind and he does that over and over and over and over again. How do you explain that such an unimpressive little gnarled up preacher it's not Paul it's Christ it's not Paul it's God, it's not Paul it's the Holy Spirit of God working through you and don't you understand some understand that they appreciate that I'm appointed for the defense of the gospel.

They wanted to help God's man. They recognize that he was God's man they wanted to serve Christ by serving the apostle Paul and so some preach with wrong motives. Some preach with right motives, but what's Paul's response.

He says in verse 18.

What then, only that I rather only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth.

Christ is preached, and in this I rejoice yes and will rejoice put them one translation translates that what does it matter what does it matter where they preach Christ out of pure motives or bad motives.

Another translation renders it.

What really matters what and what really matters.

Does the motive of the preacher really matter and we would also yes yes say that that's the most important thing Paul says no, no, that's not the most important thing please learn whether in pretense or in truth, whether there preaching in pretense that is there hiding their selfish ambitions, not letting them be seen or in truth that is preaching from unmixed motives and out of true hearts devotion. The important thing is that Christ is preached Christ is preached aright, Christ is preached. Truly this is a true gospel.

This is a right portrayal of Jesus Christ. This is a correct understanding of what Christ did for hell deserving sinners and they are proclaiming that people are hearing that they are being blessed and help to buy it.

Christ is preached in pulses. Therefore, I rejoice. The opposite of what these these wrong motive preachers expected the opposite of what we might've expected, but I rejoice in.

Yes, I will rejoice. I'm determined to rejoice and I will continue to rejoice. Now I have four lessons from this and I hope I I should have time to cover them. So listen up what we learn from this number one. The message is more important than the messenger. Paul's response to those who were preaching along message was very different. How many times is Paul roundly condemned those who preach along message, what he saying in Galatians chapter 1. If anyone if I or an angel from heaven, and angel preach to you any other gospel than that which has been preached unto you, what led him be accursed, let him be damned well that's the language he uses that situation were a false gospel is being preached in case you missed it. He says I'll say it again, what I said before, I say again, if they preach around gospel let them go to hell more quickly. The better but here pulses. If Christ is preached, I rejoice and will rejoice. Paul's response to false teachers is to condemn them thoroughly.

But Paul's response to sound teachers even if they have under sound motives is to rejoice.

Paul is telling us that if the message is accurate. God will use it for eternal good people who listen to the message. Don't know the motives of the person who's preaching that God does annual deal with that they are hearing the message told years ago when I was still in training I worked as a weekend youth pastor in the church about 80 miles from where I went to school would go down there every Saturday afternoon work with young people and come back Saturday night and I had done that for couple of years and then I had gone to another state for summer internship and I hadn't been at that other location long before the phone rang and my dad said my dad was on the other end said I want you to hear from me first preacher so-and-so the pastor of the church where I'd been ministering is in jail going old sorry details and when I came back in the summer went back to the church I found broken people, particularly among the youth group. Some of them said oh I was saved under the preaching of Pastor so-and-so and now he's turned out to be scoundrel hypocrite if you knew what he went to jail for you to understand. That's the truth. They must not even be a Christian.

How can I be saying to fight if I believe if I believed in Christ and of ministry of a man like this and I told him. In essence what Paul is saying here. It's not the messenger it's the message that you believe the gospel. If you believe the gospel you are saved, if you are believing the true gospel is not the messenger it's the message if the message is accurate. God will use it for eternal good of the message is inaccurate. It will deceive and mislead and that must be denounced and condemned. We tend to do it the other way around. We tend to focus more on the messenger than the message we tend to focus on the preacher's gifts.

My, how gifted is how personable he is, how eloquent he is or this this'll get closer to home for some of you tend to focus on the fitness of the preacher and we say things like God can use you unless you are a clean vessel in pulses. Yes, he can some preach Christ out of envy and strife, not sincerely hoping to add pain to my trains, but nevertheless Christ is preached, and I rejoice and will rejoice. God doesn't need clean vessels now. If you are not a clean vessel don't be looking for any rewards when you get to heaven. In fact, if you're not a clean vessel, you may not be going to have a new maybe a Judas who was an Orthodox preacher.

He preached Christ and went to hell this this idea and I I've heard about my life and I'm sure I believe didn't probably acted upon it, God can't use you unless your clean vessel Lord redoubt every vestige of sin we ought to be doing that will be praying that way, Lord redoubt every vestige of sin. I want to be clean vessel and eyesight that ought to be our attitude that ought to be our attitude we should we should not justify or excuse any sin we want to be a clean vessel in his sight, but this idea that God can only use a clean vessel which is a hell in a subtle way that really turns things back to the ability of man for ultimate success.

God's got a have a certain kind of person. If the gospel is going to be successful, and it's up to us to make sure that we give God what he needs to make the successful it's a it's another.

What should I say another slant on Arminianism nice thing with the light how I praise the precious Savior with a lovely hold on me. Thou hast saved and cleansed and filled me that I might die vessel. The channels only blessed master and with all my quickening power flowing through me that construes me every day and every hour you made me a clean vessel in your sight, but I also when I when I sing that when I pray that I reflects God used available. I don't think he was a very clean vessel God used Judas.

He certainly wasn't a clean vessel God used these men with their impure motives.

They were clean vessels and yet they preach the gospel of Paul said, I rejoice in I will rejoice. People are hearing the gospel are being saved, even when it comes from the lips of someone whose motives are not pure.

What am I saying it's the message that the messenger message is what's most important. I suddenly see a lesson here of how to answer false charges.

Paul's imprisonment was thought by most people to be because he was a criminal. What else files.

Would you be imprisoned, broken, Roman law, but Paul's the impression of the people had of his imprisonment changed gradually and 180.

Over time, he said.

Now they realize that my trains are for Christ not for being a criminal, not for breaking the law. My trains are in Christ, not out of the change come about in the opinions of people from thinking. He was an evil criminal to thinking that he was a Abbasid for Christ similar to remember on the island island of Malta when he was a prisoner in and these folks did know that he was different from the other prisoners. He was a prisoner and a snake came out getting what he was gathering wood and they all watched expected him to fall down dead, because they've never seen anybody survive a bite by that particular poisonous snake before and said Paul shook the snake off and the fire went on gathering wood and after a little while they change their good effect. They said he must be a God rather than a man. I mean, they went from one extreme to the other, but can you see how his reputation was completely changed hundred and 80 similar here impressions of why Paul was in prison were gradually reversed, not because Paul went around saying these are false accusations. These are slanderous accusations. I've been wrongly accused. I got to set the record straight. This a good lesson.

All of us need this were all slandered at times were all defamed at times and sometimes we think we go try to run around and track down every false rumor and send it straight but if after while you become to the realization that you're not able to do that now what the Trackable down and who said this is in the Bible but who said the ally travels around the world while the truth is putting its plans on the minutes lies go quick. Truth move slow is that the way things are today. Another little personal story I've been here in Alamance County not more than a year at the most two and I was at that elements Christian school watching a soccer game. Another preacher from the area came up to me and he said Greg he said somebody told me that you were having an affair was with someone is not your wife. So I told him that wasn't true. I'm standing there thinking what I do now, what I do next.

So I asked him for the name and address of the person who told him that he gave it to me and I went. I think at least three different times not done that the word could be anybody there and I asked another wise preacher.

Actually, my former pastor from South Carolina, seductive Sackler, what should I do about this.

He said nothing you can do except just be seen in public with your wife and gradually the slander will die. Rumor will go away. Another words just do right be right and show my your life that this is not true. What we talking about how to answer false charges lectured life demonstrate that they are false, correctable, and you'll tell yourself in knots trying to just focus on being right doing, right being godly and let the rumors die a normal death.

People who want to believe them or to believe them.

Even if you tell them it's not true. And people who want to know the truth are going to recognize the truth in your life there to say that couldn't possibly be true. Here's 1/3 lesson may not get to for this is a probably statement why some preachers are sidelined probably. I don't know because this has to do with hearts but evidently there can be preachers whose hearts are not right with God on Paul talks about them here. It's true, but in most cases, only God knows who they are not somehow Paul knew these were I don't know whether God told them I don't think so. I think they drop little hints here and there so that he was able to figure out who was who.

But there are some who are jealous of the success of others. They minister out of rivalry toward others. Their self-seeking, they endeavor to undermine the success of others. They do it subtly by innuendo and veiled attack and damaging remarks. All the while being careful to to keep the. The pretense of being godly preachers sound doctrine sometimes want to know are men like that really saved the answer is, Paul doesn't say it doesn't say it. It doesn't matter what differences that make this between them and God got a sort that out.

We just want to make sure that the message is right, but what's most important is a condition of their hearts.

God knows what it isn't, it very well may it may be only God knows, but it very well may be that some preachers who have desired a level of success they've never been able to achieve have not been able to achieve it because God says your heart is envious your heart is jealous your heart is self-seeking.

I'm not going to elevate that I'm not gonna promote that I'm not an honor that your message is right but your heart grieves me and I will mention the fourth lesson in closing how easily deceived as the human heart.

Wrong motives are not confined to preachers. They reside in all kinds of Christians.

Sometimes we don't know what's in that week. In fact, we never really know for sure what's in the hearts of that week foolishly try to figure that out walk person did this.

Could they really be saved. What difference does it make what's important is your heart before God. Are you truly say where is the evidence of your salvation was the fruit of the spirit coming out of your life.

Where is the banishing of envy and jealousy, and covetousness self-seeking need to worry about that one for yourself because God knows all hearts. God will deal justly with all hearts. God knows how to justly judge bail. The false prophet who preached the truth.

God knows how to justly judge Judas false apostle who preached the truth. God knows how to deal with these men in Rome sound gospel preachers whose motives were wrong. God knows how to deal with every one of us according to what's in our hearts.

And so what should we do, we should follow their faces before God and say cleanse me.

Forgive me, save me, keep me work within my heart to the honor and glory of Christ, shall we pray father take your word and minister to the needs of our hearts. We ask in Jesus name

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