Thus, death was viewed as a valuable thing. It is so hard for many to look at death in this way-- to see death as a gain and not a loss. No one is able to view death in this way unless they live for Christ. Without Christ, death is an enemy of man. Those of the world fear death. Most people don't like to even talk about death and dying. Most shun the subject or make jokes about it as if it isn't real. But death is real. We can't hide from it or avoid it.
To Live Is Christ
No one escapes death. For those who are without the Lord, having never rendered obedience to His gospel and thus not striving to live for Him, death is a terrifying thought. For these there is nothing but a terrifying expectation of judgment to look forward to after death see 2Thess. However, we do not have to view death in this manner.
We must come to view death as God views it and not as the world. How does God view death? The world may view death as a terrible enemy, but God views death as a precious thing for those who are righteous.
To Live is Christ; To Die is Gain - Session 8: Waiting
All of our worldly striving is meaningless in the grand scheme of eternity. But Christ gives meaning to our lives, our moments, and even our deaths. Because He lives, we have a purpose today and hope for tomorrow. In his letter to the church in Philippi, the Apostle Paul reminds us of this motivational truth.
Though he was imprisoned, he knew the Lord had a great purpose for his life and explained that his seemingly dire circumstances were actually working to advance the cause of Christ. In fact, he went on to say the whole imperial guard had come to know he was imprisoned for his faith in Jesus Christ, and that his imprisonment caused others to courageously preach the gospel!
Rather than allowing his circumstances to define his life, Paul found encouragement and hope in the confidence that Christ is working all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose Romans Moreover, Paul wrote his greatest hope was that he would courageously exalt Christ through every circumstance—through his life and through his death. If he lived, he would have more time to honor Christ through productive labor. If he died, he would actually profit because his eternity with Christ in heaven was secure.
For the believer, to live is Christ. Think about all the verses that come from Philippians: "Do not be anxious about anything," "Rejoice in the Lord always," "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling," "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," "To live is Christ, to die is gain. We're actually going to memorize one of these verses today, because it's in our passage. So you can go home and tell your friends, "I memorized a Bible verse in church today. Repeat after me: "To live is Christ, and to die is gain. Most people hear that verse or see it on a coffee mug and think, That's a great life motto, I'm going to live by that.
But we need to hear the context in which this was first spoken. The Apostle Paul is in prison in the city of Rome, facing trial, knowing he's going to be executed for his faith in Christ. So he writes a letter to the church in Philippi, and tells them, "This is what I believe: to live is Christ and to die is gain.
We've got to wrap our heads around what he's saying. Nero was the emperor of Rome at this time. Paul would have to stand before Nero and give his defense for why he came under charges. Tacitus was a historian in first century Rome. He says this about Nero, the guy the Apostle Paul would be facing:. This is what's going on in Rome when Paul wrote, "To live is Christ, and to die is gain. This is the guy that Paul is going up against. Every religion has to answer two questions: What is life?itlauto.com/wp-includes/with/1914-comment-pirater-le.php
Philippians - "To Die Is Gain"
Religions answer those two questions very differently. Buddhism says, "To live is to achieve good Karma, and to die is to hope for a better reincarnation. Life is all about the self. And to die is to lose everything. That's very different from what the Apostle Paul says. Let's look at this whole passage: Philippians What Paul says here does battle with what Silicon Valley religion says.
To Live Is Christ, To Die Is Gain
Paul says this:. Remember, Paul is in prison in Rome, and he's writing to this church he loves in Philippi. And he says, "I don't know how this is going to turn out.
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I'm in prison. My trial is coming up. I don't know if I will be found guilty and executed. Or maybe they'll release me instead. If they release me, that's great, too. Because I get to be with you. I'll come to Philippi, I'll see you, I'll encourage you. But no matter what happens, I want you to continue moving forward in the faith, advancing the gospel. As we look at this passage, we're going to learn about life, about death, and about the battle that we're called to fight. Silicon Valley teaches that to live is self, as though life is a solar system and what we do in Silicon Valley is at the center.
We want everything to revolve around us, our dreams, our hopes, our ambitions, our plans.
Chesterton told a parable about a boy who was given the magical opportunity to become small or big. Predictably, the boy chose to be made gigantic.
And in a matter of three minutes, he could stride across North America. He could go up to Mount Everest and kick it over like a sand castle. But after a few days of this he got bored because the whole earth felt as big as his back yard. There was no one to play with and nothing to do. Had that boy instead chosen to be made small, his back yard could have been like the Amazon rain forest. He could have spent his whole life exploring just his back yard, just his neighborhood.
We like to make ourselves big.
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