To live is Christ and to die is gain

Philippians Bible page


One of my earliest memories from military training is the importance of a battle cry.  A battle cry is a short statement that gets straight to the point and motivates the team during times of trouble.  I still love battle cries.  One of my favorites comes from Dawson Trotman: “To know Christ and make Him known.”

Philippians 1:21 could serve as a battle cry for the Apostle Paul.  He wrote, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”  Paul wanted every breath and ounce of his being to bring honor to Jesus Christ.  As long as he had breath in his lungs, Paul expected to live for Christ.  However, Paul was not afraid of death because he fully trusted in his eternal Christian inheritance.

Paul also wrote we are fellow heirs with Christ (Romans 8:16-17).  This is true for all who are adopted children of God.  We are all born into sin and separated from God.  We start life as spiritual orphans who are incapable of repaying the debt of our sin.  This is why Jesus came.  He lived a perfect life and paid a debt He did not owe.  Jesus died so we may live.  Believe upon Jesus and trust in Him, and you will be saved and become an adopted child of God.

Children of God are free to agree with Paul, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.”  We are free to live for Jesus, and we do not have to fear death.  We are fellow heirs with Christ.  The King James says we are “joint-heirs with Christ.”  Think about the implications of being “joint-heirs” with Jesus.  This means our inheritance is absolutely secure.  Certainly nothing threatens the security of Jesus’ inheritance.  He is God!  He is also our joint-heir, and our inheritance is as secure as His.

Here on earth it is common for children to receive some inheritance when one or both parents pass away, but our inheritance from Father God is different.  He will never pass away.  Instead, we receive our inheritance when we pass away.  Therefore, Paul writes “to die is gain.”

It is all about Jesus all the time.  Every day we awake, we are to give ourselves fully to honoring Christ.  God’s people ought to recognize Jesus in everything we say and do.  Even the smallest task becomes an opportunity to honor God.  And our joy does not depend upon earthly circumstances.  In this world, we will have trouble (John 16:33), but our eternal inheritance is secure in Christ.  Let us take up the battle cry of Paul as though it were our own, “For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

John 11:25 – Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live.”

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