Philippians 1:1, 21-24 - To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi,… For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. NASU
He saw the Philippian Christians as "saints". The Greek word used here is "hagiois" and it has the meaning of being "sacred and pure" and the reason this is true is because of where they are located. They were in Christ Jesus according to verse 1 - "To all the saints in Christ Jesus…".
They were not "saints" because they had done anything great. They were "saints" because they had been baptized into Christ. Paul said it this way in the book of Romans - Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?
If you have been baptized into Christ then you should see yourself as a "saint". As I sit and write this Pump Up my mind shoots ahead and reminds me I will be leading a group of saints to Philippi next April. If you are interested our group would love to have you go with us.
Paul saw living as a good thing for the Christians or Saints who were alive because he could spiritually help them grow in their faith. But as for his own death he saw this as an advantage for him because he would be going to be with Christ. Paul stated it this way, "… For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."
When you become a follower of Jesus Christ you can also consider yourself to be a "saint" and when "saints" die this is a good thing because "saints" go to be with Jesus. Paul says, "…and to die is gain."
You will also notice Paul desired to depart or die and be with Christ because this was better than living here - "…having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;…"
A person who follows or lives for Christ doesn't have to be afraid to die. We can have the assurance of Paul that dying will bring us to a place of great rewards.
We can say, "I have a desire to depart and be with Christ, for this is very much better." I found the Greek word for "desire" to be interesting. It is "epithumia" and this word is translated 36 out of 38 times as "lust or covet" and twice it is translated "desire".
Jesus "desired" to eat the Passover with His disciples in Luke 22:15 and Paul "desired" to die and go be with Christ.
Have you ever thought about dying like Paul? When your time comes to physically die I hope you will see it like Paul as a good thing. Your death will actually be a "gain". I pray you will see your death as a time when you will depart and be with Christ which is going to be way cool.
Think About These:
It isn't death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.
Everyone dies, but not everyone lives.
The apostle Paul said it best, "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."
Gary A. Serago
Minister of God's Word
Gary A Serago.