Today I was challenged by Philippians 1:21 and thought I’dpass along the conviction via a quick exposition of this passage…
Philippians 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ and todie is gain.”
“For to me” – Paulis making a personal statement.This is the kind of thing that can only be decided personally. So the following words must be viewedthrough a lens of personal responsibility, in other words, “what will Ido?” I challenge you to considerhow your life would complete this phrase, “for to me…”
“to live” – this isthe daily living. Oddly this isnot a picture of Paul’s whole life at once, this is about the day in day out,moment by moment living that goes on in life. It is life viewed through the consecutive moments. With the phrase “to live…” Paul issetting up a definition or explanation of what it means “to live.”
“is Christ” – Pauldoes not beat around the bush, his personal decision is to live, moment bymoment identified with Christ to the point of defining his entire being. “To live is Christ…” Paul points toJesus and specifically Christ (defined as the sent one or anointed one). I don’t think the use of Christ vs. theproper name Jesus is accidental.Christ marked Jesus’ mission as Savior. Paul is aligning and defining his life by the mission andredemptive work of Jesus, the Christ.What is the surpassing definition of your life? What so often happens is acompartmentalization of the “Christ” part and as long as He stays in His boxeverything will be fine. RememberPaul is not making a statement about his entire life at once, what would itlook like if you made Christ your life for the next 15 minutes or the rest ofthe day?
“and” – Here I goexpounding on a conjunction! “And,” well, it does what everyone know it does; it associated twothings together either in some kinds of combination or sequence. Paul is defining his life by two parts,the living and the dying.
“to die” – Paul doesnot shy away from the inevitable future of all mortals. He knew he would die one day. To addthis phrase would supply a contrast to the definition of living alreadygiven.
“is gain” – AgainPaul uses “is” to clarify the state of being that will come with hisdeath. It would be certain gain.Paul shows great confidence that his death would represent “gain.” No longer did he view death as an endor a hopeless unknown. Paul wassure death would be gain. How doyou view death? Is your death a fearful concept? Paul’s certainty of death being gain must have empowered his life beingChrist. Maybe our struggles tolive for Christ in this life is hard because we aren’t really sure if death isgain. Perhaps, we feel the need toreverse Paul’s words, “for to me, to live is gain and to die is Christ.”I hope thismakes sense. AS