12 Oct. Philippians 1:12-26

12 Oct. To die is to gain eternity with Christ

"I want you brothers and sisters to know that what has happened to me has helped to spread the Good News. All the palace guards and everyone else knows that I am in prison [under house arrest] because I am a believer in Christ."

"Because I am in prison [imprisoned], most of the believers [in Rome] have become more bold in Christ and are not afraid to speak the word of God."

"It is true that some preach about Christ because they are jealous [of me] and ambitious, but others preach about Christ because they want to help. They preach because they have love, and they know that God gave me the work of defending the Good News..."

"So I am happy, and I will continue to be happy. Because you are praying for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ is helping me, I know this trouble will bring my freedom. I expect and hope that I will not fail Christ in anything but that I will have the courage now, as always, to show the greatness of Christ in my life here on earth, whether I live or die."

"To me the only important thing about living is Christ, and dying would be a profit for me. If I continue living in my body, I will be able to work for the Lord. I do not know what to choose - living or dying."

"It is hard to choose between the two. I want to leave this life and be with Christ, which is much better, but you need me here in my body. Since I am sure of this, I know I will stay with you to help you grow and have joy in your faith. You will be very happy in Christ Jesus when I am with you again."

          (Philippians 1:12-26)

 

 

Although under house arrest, awaiting trial before the Roman Emperor, Paul tells the believers in Philippi that there are positive advantages of being imprisoned at the centre of the Roman empire. He's been able to witness freely in his rented house while in Rome, and the members of the Imperial guard who have been supervising his house arrest are well aware that he is on trial because of his faith in Jesus Christ. Some of the palace guards have even become believers as a result of hearing Paul preach (see Philippians 4:22).

And as a result of his 'notoriety', other believers have been emboldened to preach the Good News about Jesus to the citizens of Rome, some of whom may then take the Christian message across the empire to the ends of the known world.

Paul knows that the outcome of his trial is uncertain, and he could be condemned to death. So he prays, "that I will not fail Christ in anything but that I will have the courage now, as always, to show the greatness of Christ in my life here on earth, whether I live or die." (Philippians 1:20)

But for Paul, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. He is pulled in two directions: On the one hand, he wants to leave this life and be with Christ for eternity; on the other hand, he wants to see the Philippians again so he can encourage them in their faith and help them "grow and have joy in your faith." (Philippians 1:25)

So he prays that he will be set free after his trial, and the Philippians will be "very happy in Christ Jesus when I am with you again." (Philippians 1:26)

The photo shows the Roman agora (market place) in Philippi.

You can read more from Paul's Letter to the Philippians @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/15-pau…/to-live-is-christ/


Printer Printable Version