me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Philippians 1 [18.] What does it matter? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed. I rejoice in this, yes, and will rejoice. For I know that this will turn out to my salvation, through your supplication and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will in no way be disappointed, but with all boldness, as always, now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will bring fruit from my work; yet I don’t know what I will choose.
Philippians 1 [23.] But I am in a dilemma between the two, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Yet, to remain in the flesh is more needful for your sake. Having this confidence, I know that I will remain, yes, and remain with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, that your rejoicing may abound in Christ Jesus in me through my presence with you again.
- Living for Christ:
In this verse, Paul expresses that the essence of his life is centered on Christ. His entire existence—his thoughts, actions, and purpose—is devoted to living in accordance with the teachings and example of Jesus. Christ is not merely a part of Paul's life but the very essence and reason for his existence.
- Death as Gain:
Paul also acknowledges that death, far from being a fearful or tragic event, is actually a gain for him. This perspective contrasts with the natural human fear of death and reflects Paul's confidence in the hope of eternal life through Christ. For Paul, death represents the culmination of his faith journey, the ultimate reunion with his Savior, and the entrance into the fullness of God's presence.
Ultimate Purpose and Meaning: Philippians 1:21 challenges us to consider the ultimate purpose and meaning of our lives. Like Paul, we are invited to center our lives on Christ, making Him the focal point of our existence. When Christ becomes the center of our lives, everything else falls into its proper place, and our actions are guided by His love and truth.
Eternal Perspective: The verse also invites us to adopt an eternal perspective on life and death. As believers, we can face death with confidence and hope, knowing that it is not the end but the beginning of a new and glorious reality in the presence of God. This perspective transforms our outlook on life, freeing us from the fear of death and enabling us to live with courage and purpose.
Transformation of Priorities: Philippians 1:21 challenges us to evaluate our priorities and values in light of our faith in Christ. When we recognize that our ultimate gain is found in Him, we are compelled to reorder our lives accordingly. Material possessions, worldly success, and temporal pleasures pale in comparison to the surpassing value of knowing Christ and living in alignment with His will.
Galatians 2:20: In a similar vein, Paul declares in Galatians 2:20 that his life is no longer his own but is lived by faith in the Son of God: "I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me."
2 Corinthians 5:8: Paul expresses his longing for the heavenly dwelling and his confidence in the eternal life that awaits believers beyond death: "We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord."
In Conclusion: Philippians 1:21 encapsulates the essence of Paul's faith and provides a profound reflection on the significance of life and death for believers. It challenges us to center our lives on Christ, adopt an eternal perspective, and reorder our priorities in light of the surpassing value of knowing Him. As we embrace this perspective, may we find true meaning and purpose in living for Christ, and may we face death with confidence, knowing that it is ultimately gain in Him.
PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible