Last updated on June 26th, 2020 at 06:15 am
Death is inevitable. If we keep the commandments of Christ, when we die, we know he has great plans for us – Eternal Life.
One message of Paul that strengthens our confidence in this belief is Phillipainas 1:21 – To live is Christ to die is gain.
- What did Paul mean?
- Is he encouraging us to live like Christ?
- Did he mean death is better for faithful Christians?
Being faithful comes with a reward. When we follow the ways of Christ, he has promised us everlasting life.
Our persecutions on earth should not hinder us from serving God. At all times, we must keep God’s commandments.
If we love one another, we have substantially fulfilled the new commandment of Jesus. Next, we need to love God with all our body, strength and our minds.
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 Gods perfect kingdom. However, there is no reward for living a sinful life. Death for the unrighteous is not gain, but destruction.
To live is Christ to die is gain
There are many words of inspiration from the message of Paul. While writing to the Philippians, he said
According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain
This passage of the Bible showed the mindset of the Apostle Paul. He was not panicked about what is to come or neither was he drawn back by things he had done in the past. He was confident of the prize he will receive for being on the side of Christ.
Paul was previously called Saul in the bible. He was a harasser of those that believe Christ was the son of God. He may or may not have killed them personally, but his actions may have contributed to the death of the early Christians.
After his calling and baptism, there was still disbelief amongst some Christians. While some were happy he was called, others preached the gospel in envy and hatred. Paul was not perturbed by this. He said in verse 18
What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice
Paul was not concerned about their aim of preaching the gospel. He was focused on the spread of the Gospel of Christ. His focus was on the prize he would receive in the end. Therefore, he was not concerned about their actions because To live is Christ and to Die is Gain
To live is Christ – what did Paul mean?
Paul’s calling had an added grace. He received all commandments and teaching directly for 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. Therefore, Christ lives in him.
To live is Christ means we must accept the ways of Christ. The ways 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. 1 Corinthians 9:27
To die is gain – What did Paul mean?
Accepting to follow Christ is one thing, Remaining steadfast when tempted is another. We will all face temptations on earth. When tempted, we must understand that Christ lives in us and follow his ways at all times.
Because we know the gift of remaining steadfast in his service, we are not afraid of death. In fact, we don’t care when it comes.
By the phrase “to die is gain”– Paul was not afraid to die. He would prefer to die and be with Christ. This is because he knew he was obeying the commandments of God diligently.
When we allow Christ to live in us and direct our ways, we are not panicked about the plans of the devil. We know when we die we will receive the reward prepared for us.
Instead, Paul chose not to die, but to live according to God’s will. He knew continuing to live was for Christ. Through him, the Philippians will understand the ways of God. He would nurture them in the commandments of God and build up their faith. He said,
But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better. Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.
And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again. Philippians 1:22-26
Death is gain – A story to inspire your soul
Surely, living righteously pays after death.
A good example is Christ himself. He is our savior and died for our sins. Make no mistake, Christ is God, and he decided to die for our sins because of the love the Almighty has for us.
While on earth, there are many times the devil tempted him. He never allowed himself to be deceived by the devil. He understood the commandments of God and followed them. Until his death, he was sinless and obedient.
He was persecuted, beaten up, and died for our sins. In all, he never disobeyed the will of the father. In the end, Christ received the reward after death. After three days, he was resurrected into glory.
Through revelation, Paul himself said
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5-11
Therefore, we should not relent in following the ways of God. His ways lead to life and everlasting blessings. We must be steadfast until death to receive God’s reward. If we derail, our labor will be in vain.
To live is Christ to die is gain bible verses
There are other Bible verses that strengthen our faith in the promise which we will receive after death. Therefore, do not be afraid. Instead, be focused on living as Christ did. Read and be blessed.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me
The blood of Christ has given us redemption from death. Through is the precious sacrifice to God, he as given us a hope to receive life after death.
Despite this, we must be righteous to receive all his has planned for us. We cannot accept the ways of the devil. We cannot love the things of the world. If we accepted Christ, it means we have died with him and definitely will receive our reward.
2. Romans 14:8
For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s
The happiness of the gospel of Christ is hope. Hope gives us the strength to continue in righteousness when severely persecuted by the devil. Through the hope of salvation and eternal glorification, we will remain steadfast no matter the tricks of the devil.
We know we will be glorified in the end. We know our faithfulness to God will never go unrewarded. Also, we are confident of the promise of God.
Whether we die or live, we know God’s plan for us. He will never leave our soul in the hands of the devil. Instead, he will lead us to a new kingdom where righteousness reigns. Therefore, do not be afraid of death. Death takes only the body but not the soul.
3. Revelation 14:13
And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them
The phrase “die in the lord” should give you all the confidence you need. To die in the lord means death while serving Christ in holiness. Henceforth, all our labors and works will be counted for us.
We will receive all that is planned by God. Therefore, we need not be afraid of death. God will glorify our soul.
4. Romans 8:35-39
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.