12 “Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, 13 so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the praetorian guard and to everyone else, 14 and that most of the brothers and sisters, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear. 15 Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from goodwill; 16 the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; 17 the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking that they are causing me distress in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in this I rejoice. But not only that, I also will rejoice, 19 for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my eager expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.”
Because of my imprisonment: Paul is showing God’s movement and action in the midst of his circumstances. The Gospel continues to be advanced. This is largely because there is something about Paul that is attractive to the prison guards. He exudes Christ’s fruit despite his imprisonment.
Christ is proclaimed: Paul was aware of people who were preaching Christ from impure motives. These teachers apparently aimed to frustrate Paul perhaps to make him concerned about what they were saying about his character and ministry. Paul’s response to these people is a positive one: At least the Gospel is being preached. This was Paul’s singular focus. He wanted Christ to be exalted from pure and impure motives as well as within His own body by life or by death. This shows us that Paul was not ultimately controlled by humans or the fear of death.