1. Exposition

What prompted Paul to write about this disappointing experience with some of his fellow preachers?

Philippians 1:15–17 (ESV)

15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will.

It has been suggested that he was so hurt that he was inclined to express something of his feelings in this letter.1 It is, however, more plausible to consider the apostle’s message as containing a veiled warning. Wasn’t something like this also brewing beneath the surface in the church in Philippi? In the light of the apostle’s remarks in Philippians 2:1–4 and Philippians 4:2–3, we need not be surprised that Paul found it necessary to sound a word of warning and to inform the Philippians of what he had experienced in prison. It makes sense to conclude that Paul is telling his readers how a Christian should react in such circumstances. Rather than being irritated, he rejoices (Philippians 1:18). In this way the apostle sets an example worth imitating.2