TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN
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THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS
FOR TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN
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CHECK OUT THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS STUDY FROM THE BEGINNING
THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS
FOR TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN EXPLAINED
Welcome back to
Daily Bread as we begin a new study of The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to
the Philippians. The church in Philippi was the first church that Paul
founded in Macedonia (Acts
16:9-12). You may remember that shortly before that, Paul met Timothy
(also known as Timotheus) who along with several others, accompanied Paul in
establishing the churches in that area.
From Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ,
To all the saints (believers) in Christ Jesus which are in Philippi, with the bishops and
deacons (overseers and helpers).
Grace and peace from
God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God whenever I
think of you. I always pray for you and make my requests with joy, because
your fellowship in the Gospel, the first day you heard it, until now, I have
been confident that those of you who have begun to do good works will
continue until the day of Jesus' Return.
FOR TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN TRUTH
Truly, as it is
right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, since
in my bonds and in the support and confirmation of the Gospel, you are all
sharers of my Grace. God is my witness of how greatly I miss you in the
tenderness of Christ Jesus. And this I pray, that your Love may grow more
and more in knowledge and in all judgment, so you may approve things that
are excellent, and that you may be sincere (true) and without offence (sin,
blame) until the day of Christ's return, being filled with the fruits of
righteousness, which are through Jesus Christ, showing the glory and praise
It's easy to see
here that Paul has a soft spot in his heart for the people of Philippi. It
appears that the people of this city stood behind Paul through all his
afflictions and his imprisonment, and kept the Faith, which was of great
comfort to him. With so many churches to keep enthusiastic, it was probably
very appreciated by Paul that some were very strong and stable, and this was
a little "thank you" for that. Paul writes:
I hope you understand that the things that happened to me have turned out
instead for the advancement of the Gospel, so that my bonds in Christ are
clearly seen in all the palace (Cæsar's
court) and in all other places, and most of the brethren in the Lord
becoming confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the Word without
FOR TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN QUOTE
Let's slow down
here for a minute and see what Paul is saying exactly. They put me in prison
to keep me from preaching, but in fact, being in prison has been rather
prosperous for the Gospel. Their plan backfired! The entire palace of Cæsar
has heard about my being imprisoned for Christ's sake and in all other
places too. And the brethren can see that I still, from my chains, spread
the Word, so, many of them are no longer afraid. (Just as the Apostles all
ran when they came to arrest Jesus for fear of going to jail, some of the
brethren were apprehensive to preach the Gospel because they were afraid of
being imprisoned as well.) Paul continues:
Now some in fact preach Christ out of envy and strife (envy of Paul's
fearlessness, success, and pioneering as one of Paul's enthusiasts
describes it), and some also of good will. Those who preach out of envy and
strife, preach Christ out of contention, not sincerely, assuming to add
affliction to my bonds, but those who preach of good will, preach out of
love, knowing that I am appointed to defend the Gospel.
What shall we say
then? Nevertheless, every way, whether in pretense, or in TRUTH, Christ is
preached, and in that I rejoice, yes, and will continue to rejoice. I know
that this will be in favor of my salvation through your prayer and the
filling of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation
and my hope, that in nothing shall I be ashamed, but that with all boldness,
as always, so Christ shall now also be magnified (glorified) in my body,
whether it be by life or death.
FOR TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN INFORMATION WITH FOR TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN MEANING
For me to live is
Christ and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of
my labor, yet what I shall choose, I don't know. I'm in a bad position
between two things, having a desire to depart (die), and to be with Christ,
which is far better, however, to remain alive is more needful for you. (You
have to admire Paul's selflessness.)
And knowing this,
I know that I shall live and continue with you all for your progress and joy
of Faith, that your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by
my visiting you again. Only let your manner of living be according to the
Gospel of Christ, that whether I visit you or be absent, I may hear of your
good works, that you stand firm in one spirit, with one mind working
together for the Faith of the Gospel, and are in no way dismayed by your
adversaries, which is to them a clear sign of destruction, but to you, of
salvation through God.
For to you, it is
trusted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer
for His sake, having the same emotion which you saw in me and still now,
hear to be in me.
So, Paul is saying
that working together, being in unity, supporting one another, is the way to
live. Just as Paul followed the example of Jesus, though Jesus was not in
the flesh at the time, he is asking the people to follow in his example,
whether he is present with them or not.
FOR TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN SUMMARY
If you were a
Philippian, wouldn't you feel comforted by a letter like this from Paul?
Come on back soon, and we'll see what other encouraging words Paul has to
share with us, right here at Daily Bread.
CONTINUE TO THE NEXT STUDY
TESTAMENT DAILY BREAD
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