To Live is Christ: Philippians 1:20-26

“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. ” – Philippians 1:21

jesus christ wooden sculpture

Hey, friends! I hope that you are well. Thanks a bunch for continuing to read and show your support! As always, I appreciate you!

We’re still studying the book of Philippians. We last discussed how Paul said he would rejoice as long as Christ was preached – whether out of false motives or true. Paul then moved on to detail his conflicting desires.

Paul’s confident hope in Philippians 1:20 was that he in no way be ashamed but that he would always magnify Christ in his body with all boldness. Christ was exalted in Paul’s body by his bold preaching of the gospel and by his suffering.

He said for him, “to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). Paul wasn’t suicidal. He knew that he was living for Christ and that if he died, he would be benefited because he’d get to be with the Lord. If Paul continued to live on the earth, it would mean productive work for him, or “fruit from [his] labor.”

Paul was torn between living and dying because his desire was to depart and be with Christ, which is far better (Php. 1:23). But according to Philippians 1:24, it was more necessary for him to live for the sake of his fellow Christians.

Paul was confident that it was more needful for the Christians for him to be alive. So he explained in Philippians 1:25 that he knew that he would remain and continue living for the sake of their joy and progress in the faith. He wanted the Philippians to be able to rejoice in seeing him again.

Though Paul was conflicted about whether he wanted to live or die, he put Christ as first and foremost. That’s why he could say to live is Christ and to die is gain. Can you confidently say that?

The reason I’m still living is because of Christ. He heals, He forgives, and He delivers. Christ gives hope to the hopeless.

He can give you hope, too. All you have to do is obey Him in belief in Him, in repentance, in confession, and in baptism. The you will be saved and you can live for the Lord.

Let’s live for Christ.

Photo by Francesco Paggiaro on


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