Not everyone who preaches is sincere in their preaching. Envy is a bitter master and strife often follows close behind. A group of men resented Paul’s apostleship and his authority. These weren’t Judaizers but came from among the churches to take advantage of the fact Paul was in prison. Likely they preached with their lips but not from the heart. Not everyone has the right motive when it comes to preaching. Some want to be paid to preach. Some want a position so they can make a reputation for themselves. Paul didn’t condone the men, their motives and maybe not even their method, but the fact Christ was being preached. There were also men of goodwill who wanted to see the Gospel being preached and the kingdom of God being furthered. Paul wasn’t able to do it, so they took the responsibility to sound out the Gospel with the right motive. They may not have been as knowledgeable as Paul and as good at preaching, but they were committed to see the words of salvation reach the ears and hearts of unbelievers.
The point of the passage is that Paul was able to rejoice that Christ was being preached. It is the Person who is important in Gospel preaching, not the variety of subjects that preachers can expound. There was no jealousy or envious thoughts in Paul’s mind as he heard of the word of God going out and “Christ” being preached. He would know that others were not called as he was, because he was an apostle. However, he did not allow anything to steal his joy in the fact that the Gospel was going forth in one way or another.
We are not able to support or condone all that is done in Gospel preaching today. There are evangelical movements and evangelical groups all over the world, and thousands of people hear the Gospel every day. What the motivating factors are behind all that is being done is not always that clear. There are collections of large amounts of money, altar calls that may not mean much to some who go forward and a variety of things we cannot participate with who follow the scriptures literally. But we certainly can rejoice that Christ is being preached in many places and God in grace is saving souls who repent of their sins and accept the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior.