Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Paul was in a situation where he thought he might die because of his work for Christ
He must have felt great fear. He might have wondered what would happen to his friends and to the churches he had helped to plant.
But he had a unique view of what death represented. For him it was not the end or something to be avoided at all cost
He recognized heaven and how great it would be. A place with no pain, no sin, no hurt, no failure. A place where everything is perfect. He knew heaven was a place where he would forever be with Jesus.
But Paul also had a unique view of life.
Some people see Christianity as just about heaven. They think all there is to Being a Christian is to get baptized, live decent, die and go to heaven.
Paul said for him to live was Christ (Philippians 1:21. In another place he said “I am crucified with Christ nevertheless I live. Yet it is not I but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live by flesh I live by faith in the son of God who loves me and gave himself for me, Galatians 2:20.
What does it mean to live for Christ or to be crucified in Christ? For me it means to have every part of me under Christ’s control. The way I treat my friends, enemies, parents and teachers is all a result of my life in Christ. Christianity is not a formula where you do this (baptism and good works) and get this (heaven). It is a relationship of me giving my all to Jesus.
I’m other words in Philippians 1:21 Paul is saying “if I die: I will be with Christ”. “If I live I will be like Christ”
How are you living and dying today? Are you in Christ or are you selfishly wrapped up in the world. This evening if you need to become a Christian or need prayers of the church then come down the aisle as we stand and sing.