“Life Is Christ, Death Gain” (Philippians 1: 21, NEB) by Carley Evans

“For to me life is Christ, and death gain.” By far the better place to be is with God face to face. We are strangers here on earth. Like Abraham, we look “forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11: 10, NIV) “[We] come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. [We] come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. [We] come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” (Hebrews 12: 22 – 24, NIV) Here is our true home, the place we desire beyond measure. But Paul also writes that for him “life is Christ.” While in the body, Paul strives to serve the living God by serving his brothers and sisters in Christ and by reaching out to those who do not yet know Christ. Paul is “torn two ways,” writing: “what I should like is to depart and be with Christ; that is better by far; but for your sake there is greater need for me to stay on in the body.” (Philippians 1: 23 – 24, NEB) Paul asks us, “Were you not raised to life with Christ? Then aspire to the realm above, where Christ is.” (Philippians 3: 1 – 2, NEB)
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