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The Apostle Paul’s View of the Greater Good

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There comes a point in just about every action movie or TV series where a discussion and decision take place. It’s where they talk about the number of innocent bystanders that will be killed or injured while taking out the terrorists. They do the math, figuring out just what’s acceptable when it comes to taking down the bad guys. At some point in the dialogue, they talk about what they’re willing to do, how much sacrifice is ok. After all, some losses must be ok to ensure the safety of everyone. They talk about how the greater good makes it ok for some to suffer.

The Apostle Paul’s View of the Greater Good

But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.

Philippians 1:18,19

Paul’s saying this not about some people being held hostage by international terrorists. Or some bank robbers holding customers as prisoners, using them as human shields or pawns to negotiate their escape. No. Paul’s talking about himself. He’s pointing to himself and saying that he’s OK with his imprisonment, as long as Christ is preached. He’s willing to sacrifice himself, his freedom, his reputation, and even his life, in exchange for the name and truth about Jesus being shared with everyone.

Think about this for a second. Paul’s imprisonment was not stopping the preaching of the gospel. Remember that Paul’s the Number One preacher in the history of the church. He’s got the most experience. He’s blessed by God with great intellect and spiritual power.

He had all the right education. He probably had the entire Old Testament memorized. He had all the right experience. And on top of all that, people are preaching Christ for all the wrong reasons. Instead of being concerned for their eternal welfare, they’re preaching Christ to get back at Paul.