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The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. (Philippians 1:17)
Paul goes back to those who proclaim Christ, not out of concern or love for the lost, but because they are jealous and seek to lift themselves up in the eyes of those around them. Some were even proclaiming the message, thinking that their success would bring more afflictions to Paul. They missed the point of why Paul had suffered so much and spent so much in taking the message of salvation to the Jew first and the Greek. It was not to lift up his name, but to lift up the Name above all Names, the Name at which every knee will bow – both saved and unsaved. Apparently, they were not proclaiming heresy; it was not their message that was wrong; it was the intent of their heart.
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The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition. To form factions and produce discord, strife, and conflict among Paul’s professed followers.
Not sincerely. Not (ἁγνῶς hagnōs) purely, that is, not with pure motives or intentions. For these dissenters, the true objective is not to preach Christ, but to create difficulty and stir up discord, strife, and conflict. They are ruthless men with a strong desire and determination to succeed, and they have no genuine concern for the spiritual wellbeing of the church, and the honor of that God is due.
But thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. These self-righteous dissenters are looking to make Paul’s tribulations even more severe. We do not have any historical records of how they carried this out. It is possible there were those deeply filled with Jewish beliefs who felt that Paul was diminishing respect for the Mosaic Law. So, this was the perfect opportunity to publicly share their views when they knew this would cause him anguish because he was not free to come and address them or their arguments or defend his position. In addition, it could be that they were claiming that Paul’s imprisonment was a reprimand from God for the ministry that he had been conducting. They could have been proclaiming these things to incite the fury from the Jewish leaders in the church, knowing that they would then espouse it to the followers, turning as many as they could against Paul and his message. They could have done such things like this, all the while hoping that their efforts would have increased the severity of Paul’s punishment.
 Philippians 2:10-11
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