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2/8/2020 Alfred Station Seventh Day BAPTIST Pastor Ken “To Live Is Christ” Phil 1:20-24
Today in our text Paul is letting his guard down and tells us that while he is in prison, he is overwhelmed. Paul was depressed while in prison and he was struggling during this time period. Paul is talking in a very personal way to the church in Philippi and to us as well. Paul says to live is Christ. He is living by faith and here he’s saying if he’s alive then he is bound to Jesus. His life is connected to Jesus and if he lives, he will have fruitful labor. The planting, watering and harvesting is labor and God will make the labor fruitful. Paul wants to not just be laboring in the field but he wants to see the fruit. While he is in prison he cannot see what’s going on in the churches.
Then Paul says to die is gain. If Caesar decides to execute Paul it is gain. Paul says the gain is to be with Jesus. The word gain is used for money getting interest on itself. So Paul is saying rather than being in prison, it is better for Paul to die so he will be with Jesus. Paul is saying to die is gain. He gets something; he gets to be with Jesus.
Paul says he needs to choose. The word used for choose is a word used by ship captains when they have to choose the paths to take their ships on. The decision is on what way to move, to go or stop. Paul is saying like the ship in port, he has to make a decision about moving. One way is to depart and be with Jesus and the other way is to stay, teach more in the churches to get more people saved. Paul didn’t really have a choice because it all depended on what God told Caesar to say. Whether he said to live or to die for Paul. It was all God’s will and choice through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Everything for Paul and everything for us is ultimately under the control of God the Father. Paul said to rejoice in the Lord always. REJOICE!