Philippians-To Live is Christ
1:18b Yes, and I will rejoice,
1:19 for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
1:20 according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.
1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Paul knows that whether he is set free or put to death he will be delivered-brought to to proper place.
Even now, Paul is bold as he holds onto his hope.
Philippians 1:21 is a pretty well known verse. We especially like to quote the first part: "to live is Christ." but that is only half of the story. We do not often focus on "to die is gain." In the context of this passage it is quite a powerful statement of faith. As I have written in earlier posts, Paul is writing this letter while imprisoned. He is waiting to hear whether he will be set free or sentenced to death. One way or the other Paul knows that "this will turn out for my deliverance."
In yesterday's post we learned the reason Paul was rejoicing; and he continues with that thought in these next verses. What strikes at my heart this morning, is that he views either outcome as deliverance. Deliverance is "the act of being rescued or set free." We know from Acts 28:30 that Paul stayed two full years in the quarters he rented during his imprisonment. Two years... waiting for men to decide his fate, and yet Paul knows that it is not men who are truly in charge of his fate. He is very clearly letting the Philippians know that their prayers will be answered, he will be delivered, and whether he is delivered to life or death it is all good, in fact it is very good. That is a hard pill for me to swallow. It is a hard pill to swallow when you are sitting at the bedside of a loved one as they breathe their last breath. It is a hard pill to swallow when you pray for healing that does not come. It is a hard pill to swallow when you pray for brothers and sisters in Christ who are being imprisoned and tortured in other countries for the sake of the Gospel. It is a hard pill to swallow when you are being ridiculed for your faith. But it does not appear to be hard at all for Paul; he is rejoicing, he is excited and you can just hear it in the tone of this letter. I want what Paul had, okay, maybe not the imprisoned for the faith part, but the confidence and joy he possessed. Have you ever heard someone say, "she is so heavenly minded that she is no earthly good?" I am starting to think they may have it all backwards. What earthly good am I if I am not heavenly minded?
May I be bold and courageous in proclaiming Christ and may I gain Paul's eternal perspective.
Grace and Peace,
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I am a woman with a Mary heart and these are my musings as I read and study God's Word
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