• William T. Howe Ph.D.

December 11, 2021

Daily Reading: Philippians 1-4

Philippians 1:21

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

This is the essence of the Christian life. It is not how the Christian life is obtained, for that is through the new birth that comes from accepting Jesus as Christ through faith in His Gospel. But it is the way the Christian life should be lived. Or rather it is the philosophy of the Christian life.

For to me to live… this is an interesting statement. For this statement is paradoxical. Of course, to say For to me to live the person must be living. They must be alive. There must be more than the obvious being stated. It is one thing to live, and then it is another to live. Physical life is one thing, spiritual life is another. Many billions have physical life but not a spiritual life. Oh, they may be spiritual in the “far east” mindset of things; they may have “found themselves” on the mountains of earthly worship, but in the Bible spiritual life is one that has been “quickened” which means made alive. Ephesians 2:1 says this: And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins. Paul is relating that he is alive physically, he is also alive spiritually. In this totality of life there is one purpose.

For to me to live is Christ… Paul’s physical and spiritual life has one overriding purpose. He stated this in Galatians 2:20: I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Paul’s life was an extension of the Lord Jesus’ life on earth. For him to live was Christ to live through him. That should be the goal of every person who has been born of the Spirit of the Living God, that Christ would live through them.

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. This is where so many miss it. To die for a believer in Jesus Christ is not death. It is a promotion to glory, a receiving of gain. When a child of God dies, they gain heaven, and all rewards that have been earned on earth. They gain a mansion, as Jesus promised in John 14:2. They gain in that they will reside in a place with no pain, no sorrow, no crying, and no more death (Revelation 21:4). They leave the world of sin to go to a world where sin cannot enter. They gain more than could ever be communicated, though we have every moment of every day to try. Yes, for the believer in living, live as Christ, and in death there is only gain.

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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