Category Archives: Bible Study
Philippians 1: 21-24 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.
(ESV STUDY BIBLE-NOTES)
Phil. 1:21 Paul’s life is not a matter of seeking his own comfort or advancement. It is all about seeking the advancement of Christ’s kingdom: to live is tantamount to serving Christ. In fact, to die should be seen as gain, because it would mean that Paul would be freed from his trouble-filled life on earth to rejoice in Christ’s presence.
Phil. 1:23 My desire is to depart and be with Christindicates that when Christians die they are immediately with Christ, long before their bodies are raised from the dead.
Pauls perspective is in tact weighing out what is better. It almost sounds like he is thinking out loud, and rationalizing what is happening to him. If in fact he has not already gone to be with Jesus, then there must be more to do here with the Body of Christ, and more in spreading the Gospel.
How often do we find our self at the end of the rope, and wondering if in fact we are done? We will not be done serving the KING in some manner, until HE takes us home with HIM, and then serve HIM there.
“to live is Christ”…life with all it sorrows and pains, and all its happiness and rejoicing, tears and laughter…all part of life, and all part of Christ. How can that be? Because HE also lived on the earth, and tasted and felt all that we will ever go through, and HE knows our struggles, HE overcame them. Living will not be better because of Christ, but do-able through HIS power. We are HIS hands and feet in this world, HIM working through us, and around us…to live is Christ!
“to die is gain”…where we are going when we leave this earth, has no comparison to any worldly thing. All glorious, no tears, no pain, no more negativity…ahhhh I see Paul’s dilema…we are not home yet…but when we get there..its our gain!
Don’t forget to check out Philter48 and read the comments on the study , and the other posts that are there for you to read, and interject, we would love to have your thoughts.
I am supposed to put this on my side bar, but I am seriously techy challenged! so when I post I will add it to the top of my post. K?
Being part of this group is a great encouragement and accountability. My commitment is to study the Word 1 hour a day X 5 days a week. Along with that keeping notes, and preparing to write a study on the Holy Spirit. So this is a learning time for me as well. Its not too late to become part of this group, so please go read, check out the other blogs listed, and stand in awe…God is on the move, and we are learning to use the gifts that HE has given to us.
In the study time this last three weeks, being overwhelmed is an understatement! Not only is time an issue, but the things the LORD is showing me are huge. Maybe not to everyone, but to me. And that causes me to be able to know and believe HIM so much more. That is an answer to my prayer.
Just an example of what I am looking at…
The Holy Spirit is mentioned in the Gensis 1:2, showing me that HE was there at the time of creation. As the Bible moves, the Spirit of God was always a gift to man, when God’s plan needed another step fulfilled. These people are aware that God has put HIS Spirit on them. They know that their accomplishments are not their own. Upon grieving the Spirit, HE is removed. They beg for HIM to stay. The Spirit is the presence of God(Psalm 51:11/Isaiah 63:10). But in the Old Testament, the Spirit does not live in them, and the redeemer of our sin hasn’t walked that walk to the cross, HE can not stay with man.
Definitely fits all that Jesus said HE would( John 14:26). One difference, a believer today has HIM within our self(Romans 8:9). Jesus paid the price for the sin we did and will do, in order for the Father to look at us through the blood of Jesus. HE is not leaving the believer. We are sealed with HIM.
The Spirit of GOd was a gift from the Father in the Old Testament and is still a gift. The saddest thing that I am finding is; Then they had no way of not grieving the Spirit, and today we do. Unfortunately it doesn’t mean much to most people. The Gift is not celebrated, and if we don’t sense HIM for days, we are sure HE will comeback..and yes, with repentance we will again hear HIM…but so much we are missing in this life by not knowing HIM, not knowing what an awesome Gift HE is!
(using the BLB and also the ESV study bible, and the NASB)
14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. 15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. 16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. (ESV)
After reading and taking part in comments on these verses at Philter48, I began to reminisce of all the times I heard a testimony that just greatly encouraged me, spurred me on, and helped me to keep my eyes on Jesus. I can only imagine how the church at this time reflected on all that Paul was going through. Paul was encouraging the church that no matter how bleak things look, God will use it for HIS good and glory. Wondering …is that good enough for you? For God’s glory. I ask myself that question from time to time, and honestly it places things in perspective. And causes my heart to line up with HIS.
Everyone can think of someone who preaches or demonstrates the Gospel with love, and therefore puts up a defense for the Scriptures (can you really do this with love and NOT defend the gospel? just thinking out loud with you). But we also know ones who make it a competition of sorts, and use it for their own personal gain. Before we point fingers at them, remember how easily we fall into traps that have been set for us. If we are not doing it for God’s glory, then we are doing for our own.
I would like to know..
1.) Are you encouraged by a brother or sister who goes through hard times, and you can see God working it for HIS good? Or do you join the ranks of “this is not fair!” ?
2.) Are you into ministry? and if you are…are you in it for personal gain, or all for the glory of GOD?
If you can answer these godly, and have it perfectly figured out..you scare me! If you know that you do fall from time to time into the self righteous area..you are not alone. But we can get out of that and back to where we should be, giving God all the glory, and the praise..yes even or especially in our hard times.
Remember, Paul is writing to the “church”, GOD placed it here, today in HIS HOLY Bible, for you and me..believers, the body of Christ, the “Church”. As I go through this book I am looking for application to me and for you. So feed back is welcome.