“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

“To Live Is Christ”

(Please read Philippians 1:12-26)

June 24

At first glance, this is a pretty amazing statement. It could almost lead one to wonder whether Paul might be exalting himself a little bit. But that idea must be quickly cast aside, for Paul was among the humblest of people.

Regarding his current imprisonment, Paul had just stated his earnest hope that Christ would be magnified in his body, whether by life or death; and he went on to express his desire to depart and be with Christ. Such was the hope of this devout apostle.

Salvation in Christ, in brief, consists of submitting completely to the will of Christ, being “baptized into Christ” (Galatians 3:27), thus merging one’s life with his.

In this sense we are “born again,” a term used by the Lord himself (John 3:5). As part of the divine family, we are to consider ourselves “dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11, NAS), and being transformed into the very image of Christ (see 2 Corinthians 3:18).

Whatever metaphor is used to describe the process of becoming a child of God, all point to a different life for the Christian. There is a new focus, a discarding of old manners and habits which do not fit with Christianity, and a desire to experience more of the blessings – and trials – of Christian living.

Then our title statement is not so amazing after all. Life for Paul meant Christ. A wonderful aspect of that statement is that not just Paul, but all Christians can exult in the knowledge that “to live is Christ.” May that precious truth brighten today for you.

 

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