I am teaching an online class on Philippians (and you will hear me talk more about it). In preparing for this week, I spent time meditating on 1:21. “ For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” In the class we will closely examine the context, but whatever the context, certain things are true.
William Barclay has this list:
For Paul, Christ was…
· The beginning of life – the new life that started at baptism
· The continuation of life – Jesus with him every day
· The end of life – his purpose, his destiny
· The inspiration for life – gave vision and encouragement
· The strength for life – a power greater than his
· The reward of life – a life of eternal love
We put it this way in our book on Philippians published 20 years ago:
To live is Christ. That summed it up. Christ was his life.
· He had a relationship with God because of Christ.
· He had purpose in his world because of Christ.
· He had an example to follow because of Christ.
· He knew how to love others because of Christ.
· He had a destiny that was secure and unshakable because of Christ.
Because, for Paul, to live is Christ, he looked at everything through that lens. And what a difference that view makes.