Philippians 1:14 – And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
Philippians 1:15 – Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
Philippians 1:16 – The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
Philippians 1:17 – But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
Philippians 1:18 – What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
Philippians 1:19 – For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
Hello readers, one of the most common things I see in my life is that people disregard “what” is said because of “how” it was said. It doesn’t even matter if the “what” is right… they always find fault in “how” it is said, and ultimately to excuse them from “what” is said. Instead of worrying about the motive and method of delivery, we should first be concerned with the truth of “what” is actually being delivered. Because the what will save your soul, and the gospel may not be delivered just “how” you like it, but it is the gospel that can save your soul nonetheless.
Maybe you’ve experienced it in your life, or maybe you’ve seen it. But I certainly have. Professing Christians these days even are obsessed more with “how” it is said, rather than “what” is said. I’ve never seen them more hung up on the motive and method of delivery, when the truth of what is being delivered is most paramount. But I have discovered that the truth is that for many people, it doesn’t matter “how” nicely you try to put things, they’ll always find fault with how you said it, because really they just hate what is being said.
If they reject the message, they will hide behind a fault with the messenger. If you don’t believe that, look what God’s nation did to his messengers. See the truth is, they find fault in the messenger because they hate the message. They’d rather someone tell a lie nicely, then someone tell the truth roughly.
And if you can find a nicer way to say to someone that if you die in your sins having rejected Jesus Christ that you are going to hell… tell me how please. How can you make the offense of the gospel less offensive? Because the gospel is offensive. Jesus Christ offended a lot of people, and in trying to take the offense of the gospel away to make people like us more, we’ve also taken the gospel away too. Because “offensive” and “gospel” go hand in hand. If your gospel is not offensive to sin and ungodliness, it’s not the gospel anymore.
The Bible says that Jesus Christ offended people. So what? You want to tell me that Jesus Christ could’ve said it better? Could you be more loving and caring than Christ? And they had so much of a problem with both “what” he said and “how” he said it that they nailed him to a tree. Look at this in Matthew 13:57 “And they were offended in him…” If Jesus were around today, guaranteed you would have a problem with how he talked and how he did things. Think about “how” he got rid of the people selling doves out of the temple? “How” he did it was that he made a scourge of cords and drove them out. You know the amount of supposed Christians who would not have liked what he did and how he did it and said there’s a better way of doing it? What better way, pray tell?
The reality is that people have a huge problem with “how” God does everything. They don’t like how God created the heaven and the earth. So they can’t even get past the “how” in Genesis 1. Because God tells us HOW he did it. Just like God tells us HOW he saves us and we reject that too. Maybe you wouldn’t have done it how God has done it, but thank goodness for that right? God knows “how” much more than we know how. How about we just do it as he says how to do it. Because he tells us how to be saved, and how to have our conversation and how to behave ourselves in this world. People think they know “how” to love more than God… look how that has turned out. This world is choking on this fake love trash.
Maybe you’ve made a life excusing your sin and ungodliness based on “how” people are saying it. Because when you have a problem with the “how”, that validates everything else you do in your mind. If they didn’t say it just right, you don’t need to listen to them in your mind anymore. That’s “how” people excuse and justify themselves. Dismiss the message by dismissing the messenger. Find some fault in the messenger to throw the rest away. To you, whether what they are actually saying, the actual content, is right is irrelevant to you. But you’re only fooling yourself, you can spend a lifetime disputing the “what” based on the “how”, but it doesn’t change the fact you will stand before God and be judged by what he has said, even if you don’t like how it was said or how it was done.
There are many truths of the gospel that in order to change the “how”, you have to change the “what”. And in many modern churches, they’ve changed both. “How” they’re doing it is much more loving than all that God of the Old Testament stuff. They’re making Christians without talking about sin and hell and wrath and judgment. They’ve changed the how, they’ve changed the what, they’ve changed the gospel, they’ve changed the truth. And they have no power to see souls delivered from sin and hell.
If you look at the actual Bible preachers, name one who you wouldn’t have a problem with the “how” he said it. Would’ve John the Baptist’s sermons rubbed you the wrong way? How could’ve John the Baptist preached better? Pray tell. You don’t think people had a problem with “how” he said it? They sure did. Why’d they reject him? For a little while they listened, but soon enough he offended everyone, because they didn’t just like “how” he said this and that when the truth pressed their little hurt button.
They said of Jesus Christ “Never man spake like this man.” Clearly, “how” Jesus Christ preached was a bit different to the flattering hypocritical flowery speeches of the scribes and Pharisees. How Jesus Christ spoke was how we should all speak, which is to speak how the Holy Spirit shows us to speak in whatever situation and circumstance. Yes, I am not diminishing from the importance of making people know that you’re saying it for their good, not for their destruction. We should have the right spirit. But my point today is that even when you do have the right spirit, people that are not right with God and not willing to get right with God are still gonna hate you for what you said, and if they can’t find fault in what you said, they surely will in “how” you said it. You weren’t nice enough. You weren’t loving enough blah blah. All because they really have a problem with the what is being said, and they can’t refute what is being said, they’ll hang you over how you said it.
They did that with Stephen. Before Stephen was stoned in Acts 7, we read in Acts 6 that “And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.” Read Acts 7 to see a sermon that gets a man killed. They couldn’t refute any of what he said. Could have he said it any better? Could you have delivered that truth in a way that they would receive it because of “how” you said it?
In Luke 20:19, after a parable Jesus Christ had preached, look at this “And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them.” They wanted to kill him because of his perceived method and motive for what he said. They had a problem with how he said it, because they had a problem with what he had said. If you have a problem with the “what”, you will have a problem with the “how” everytime. What about this in Matthew 15:12 “Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?”
If you read the Bible, read about “how” some of these blokes preached. Look at “how” Elijah mocked the prophets of Baal. Look at how they did it. John the Baptist was a different unit, he had a different manner about him, how he lived and spoke was different to everyone else. And that ended with his head in a charger… and Jesus said “Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist” So could’ve you really done it better than John the Baptist?
But to clinch this, look at Philippians 1 quoted above. See, what was important to Paul was the “what”, not so much the “how”. A lot of people became preachers, but how they were preaching was quite different. Some were preaching the gospel in love. That’s nice. But some were preaching contentiously. Some were preaching out of envy and strife. Some were preaching of good will. But Paul cared about the “what”, and what was being preached was Christ crucified. So he was happy. The truth is… how people do it is not always, or maybe ever, going to be how you would do it. But we should first of all listen to what is being said if it is the truth, even if you don’t like how it was said. Truth is the truth.
If someone tells you the truth, it is the truth, irrespective of “how” they said it. Noone ever says things just right. We have discussed Christ how said all things just right, yet people still didn’t like “how” he said it. And yes, absolutely there is a way we should say things, but that way is the way the Holy Spirit leads. Our how shouldn’t come from how the world does it and fake Christians do it, our how needs to come from how the Bible says to do it! Because God does tell us how to do it, and the Holy Spirit teaches us what to say and how to say it. We should not want the “how” to detract from the “what”, because then the message of the gospel will be lost. But my point in this blog is dealing with the reality that for many people, they will always find a problem with the “how”, not matter how loving the “how” is, because they really have a problem with the “what”.
Really, if you are right with God, the how will never take away from the what. Paul wrote a number of epistles which had some hard truths. And he had some remorse over how he said it, yet he was not sorry, because how he said it was how it needed to be said, even if how it was said was pretty blunt and pretty harsh. But Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 2:9 ” For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.” See, God may have someone deliver truth to you not “how” you like it exactly, but it will be “how” you NEED it, and it sure is going to prove you. Remember, what you want and what you need may be two different things entirely.
Maybe you could’ve delivered an epistle like 1 Corinthians better than Paul did? Maybe you could’ve done it better you think. Maybe some at Corinth could’ve rejected what he said because of how he said it. But how he said it worked, because people got right with God and got saved. What he told them was the truth, even if how he said it was a little rough. Not many people are getting saved doing it how the modern Christian does it. Maybe we should go back to “how” Paul and Jesus Christ did it. So maybe the next time before getting hung up on the how, how about consider the what first? We all need to stop getting hung up on the “how” just to try and escape the truth of the “what”.
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)