Nevertheless, I want you to understand brothers that things against me occur, to a greater degree, for the advancement of the news of the grace of God manifested and pledged in Messiah.
Here we have Paul wanting the average Christian to understand that he has experienced persecution, far greater than most Christians at this time. He is not necessarily bragging, but he is setting up an example that all True Believers can emulate.
Philippians 1: 14
As a result, my bond-servitude in Messiah has been made known in all the Roman judgment halls and everywhere else. Also, an increasing number of brothers, in the Lord, has gain an increasing confidence, by my bond-servitude, becoming more bold to speak the Word without fear.
In these verses, we have an example of getting a wrong idea from erroneous English versions of the Bible. On the surface, this example is not bad, but it can be dangerous and shows how the average reader will absorb an erroneous concept and allow the interpreters to build a false doctrine, right under our noses. We need to get back to the original Word of God and allow the Spirit to lead us, not man. Now, back to the verse.
Most English versions of the Bible tells us that Paul has been in palaces. Palaces conjure up a vision of grandiose buildings, in which kings and queens abide. However, the word, translated as palaces, is in reality, praitorion, which means a tent. A praitorion is a movable tent, serving as a judgement hall. It is where the Praetor lived, while out on the road. The Praetor is the leader of the local Roman Army and also served as the local Magistrate, or judge. Many interpreters also add the word, guard, to this verse. While it is true that guards would most likely be there, the verse doesn't say it.
So what's the problem. The problem is that once you add to the Word of God, the reader could begin to get the wrong idea, about what’s really going on. By not doing their homework, a great amount of scholars and commentators have leapt to the conclusion that it meant the Praetorian Guard, which was an elite unit of the Imperial Roman army, whose members served as personal bodyguards to the Roman emperor. If the Praetorian Guard was there, then your next logical assumption would be that Paul was tried in front of Emperor Caligula, Claudius, Nero , Vespasian or Titus. In reality, he was not, at this time. You see one small misinterpretation could lead to a snowball effect, leading you down the wrong path.
To conclude this thought, by all means, there were most likely guards and most of the time, these guards were actually chained to the prisoners. In this case, Paul. What better way to spread the gospel than to evangelize the guards, who would come in contact with many people, outside of Paul’s immediate influence and thereby continue to spread the good news of God’s Grace, through the Messiah, Y’shua, throughout the Roman Empire. Isn’t it amazing how God moves.
Through Paul’s extreme example of being a Bond-Servitude, many Christians, who have heard of Paul’s hardship and persecution, are now gaining a confidence to go out and spread the gospel without any fear. Don’t get me wrong, there were still plenty of chances for persecution during that day, but it served as a motivator to take the first step and live a full Messianic existence.
This brings up the fact that Christian persecution is just as prevalent today, in many countries. However, there are also many, who are blessed to live in a free society and able to actively participate and spread the gospel on a daily basis, without fear of any retribution. How about you? No response needed... just think about that for yourself.
Also, certain ones indeed preach Messiah, for the sake of envy and controversial debate, even for the sake of good pleasure. Some preach Messiah out of partisanship, to divide, insincerity, thinking to impose distress to my bond and not out of committed love, knowing that we are appointed for the reasoned defense of the good news of the grace of God manifested and pledged in Messiah.
Even though it is wrong to do so, there were many, in that day and today, that preached and preach the Messiah for personal gain and pleasure, not for the real reason of spreading the gospel of Y’shua ha Mashiach, Jesus Christ, through a committed love for God and mankind.
What then?(So What?) Regardless of the manner, whether a pretense or truth, Messiah is preached. Even so, rejoice in this. Rejoice! Yes, even so, Rejoice!
Now, Paul‘s response to those preachers is amazing. It is not the typical response of most Christians. Most Christians want to judge and persecute those self-serving preachers. However, Paul says, “So what!?“ don’t get bogged down about people doing the right thing for the wrong reason. They will pay for the wrong reason, when they are before the throne of God. As long as the true gospel is being preached, you should rejoice exceedingly.
With that said, it must be the true gospel, not a false gospel. We are warned against following a false gospel, which is not supported by the Word of God. There are plenty of preachers, out there, preaching the wrong gospel for the wrong reasons. Do we need to identify and revealed this to the rest of the world? Yes, we need to put the truth out there and motivate other Christians to learn the Word themselves, through the tutorage of the Spirit of God. Only by this method can those of the Messiah be differentiated from those of the Antichrist. Let God deal with the individuals, based on their own actions. Our responsibility includes only spreading that true Word of God and letting the Spirit work in the lives of those who receive it.
On the other hand, how about the individuals within our local church? The Bible is quite clear on how to approach these individuals to either lead them in the correct way, chastise them or possibly remove them from the church. In the end, their salvation and their actions are to be judged by God, not by us.