Skip to main content

Philippians 1:21

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21, ESV)
The Greek that is used here could more literally be translated, "To Live: Christ! To Die: Gain!"

The meaning here is clear: For Paul to live, well, that will be like sharing in the very person of Jesus Christ. To live is to suffer for the sake of the Gospel. To live is to be persecuted. To live is to potentially remain in prison to eventually be executed. To die... now that is gain. To die is to be removed from all of this. As I have heard before, Paul must've thought, when conversations of execution came up, "You can't threaten me with heaven..."

When Paul, under the inspiration of the Spirit, penned* these words, I wonder if he knew how much comfort they would bring to those who are suffering for Christ and those who are close to death?




*(Paul usually didn't write these letters himself. So, I say "penned" knowing that he most likely had someone there doing the actual writing while he speak these words.)



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

1 Thessalonians 2:19

For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you?  (1 Thessalonians 2:19 -- ESV) Three things mentioned here... "hope" ... "joy" ... "crown of boasting" ...  Hope - What does Paul have his sights set on?  Joy - What is it that brings Paul joy?  Crown of Boasting - That Olympic Wreath of Glory that is placed on his head?  It is these people. It is his children in the faith. They are Paul's Hope and Joy and Crown of Glory when Jesus returns. 

1 Thessalonians 2:20

For you are our glory and joy.  (1 Thessalonians 2:20 - ESV) Short and sweet verse at the end of chapter 2. Paul wants the new Christians in Thessalonica to know that ... in the end ... the thing that will lift him up the most and bring him the most joy

1 Thessalonians 2:17

But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, (1 Thessalonians 2:17 - ESV) "... we were torn away from you ..." If you go back to Acts 17:1-10, you can read about the quick departure from Thessalonica. But Paul wants them to know that the separation is only physical, he is still with them in heart and has a strong desire to return to them. His desire is to see them "face to face"...  What is interesting though, is that this is the first letter of Paul's. Paul has discovered a new way of ministry. Paul has had to adjust his preferred ministry, but we have all benefited from this new process of teaching to those that he cannot see face-to-face. This benefit has stretched through the centuries and has served to fulfill God's purposes of spreading the gospel to every nation on earth.