TO LIVE IS CHRIST
“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”Philippians1:21
Most people focus on the second part of the verse, “to die is gain,” and contemplate the joys of heaven. But we should not overlook what comes before. The importance of the phrase “to live is Christ” cannot be overstated. In all honesty, this phrase should be central to every Christian’s life.
In this statement, apostle Paul is saying that everything he has tried to be, everything he is, and everything he looked forward to is being pointed to Christ. From the time of Paul’s conversion until his martyrdom, every move he made was aimed at advancing the knowledge, gospel, and church of Christ. Paul’s singular aim was to bring glory to Jesus.
Our commitment to God should be genuine and wholehearted. We should be ready to display holiness when we face temptations.Suffering in this world is nothing new. But we must endure these trials and temptations. If we do, we will be partakers of God’s perfect kingdom. However, there is no reward for living a sinful life. Death for the unrighteous is not gain but destruction.
Paul’s calling had an added grace. He received all commandments and teaching directly from Christ. No one taught him (Galatians 1: 11-12). From being a Pharisee that was blameless in the Mosaic laws, he became a saint of Christ (Philippians chapter 3). From being a persecutor of Christians, he became Christ trusted disciple.
Therefore, he has put away the past body of sin and has embraced Christ. Through his calling, Christ is magnified in his body. Thus, Christ lives in him.
To live in Christ means we must accept the ways of Christ. The way of Christ is love; therefore, we must keep his commandments.
Christ was without pride, humble, cheerful, patient, steadfast, obedient, bold in the spirit, and without sin. If we must live in the body of Christ, we must accept these qualities and follow them.
Christ cannot be magnified in your body when you live in sin. If you steal, fornicate, disobey the will of God, or you involve in sexual immorality, Christ is not in you.
By living in Christ, we must discipline ourselves at all times and put on self-control. Paul himself said,“But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” -I Corinthians 9:27
To live is Christ” means that we pursue the knowledge of Christ. We want to know Christ better and better each day. Not just a set of facts about Christ, but Christ Himself. “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11).
To live is Christ” means that Christ is our focus, our goal, and our chief desire. Christ is the center point of our mind, heart, body and soul. Everything that we do, we do for Christ’s glory. As we run the “race marked out for us,” we lay aside the entangling sin and worldly distractions, “fixing our eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:1-2). He is our life.
FURTHER READING:I Corinthians 11:1,Philippians 3:7-9
CONFESSION: THANK you Jesus for giving me your Life, Thank you for giving me purpose that I live for you and look forward to spending eternity with you.