Summary: The question about life is this-What are you living for? What will your answer be.
-The question about life is this---What are you living for?
-The answer to this question defines the meaning behind your entire life.
-Some will answer the question, I am living for money, others for fame, but for the true believer it should reflect the proclamation of Paul, I am living for Christ.
-Think about it, if you live for money, one day it will all be left behind; if you are living for fame, when you die you will be forgotten; but if you live for Christ, your life is full and even when you depart this life, you will be given the blessings of the relationship with God made possible through Christ.
-In this message, let us look at this verse, which is the theme verse of the entire book, and learn more about living and dying for Christ.
-What can we learn from Paul?
1. That Living for Christ can make your circumstances better.
-As we come to see the origin of this book we find that Paul was in prison when he wrote this book.
-His life was not going good, and he was beset by enemies both physical and spiritual on every hand.
-Yet, when defined- this man's life was his desire to tell every one about the Lord Jesus Christ.
-Paul let us know that if he lives it would be for Christ, and if he would die, he would gain a standing before Christ and receive the promise of the Lord. That promise reminded him that being absent from the body and yet being present with the Lord, the same promise he wrote to the Corinthians (II Corinthians 5:8).
-Even when life is harsh, God is always good, and even in the midst of the possibility of death, Paul found meaning in life, but that meaning and value can only be beneficial when it is given in the service of Christ.
2. That Living for Christ can help enhance the lives of others.
-Paul's desire was to depart and be with the Lord Jesus, but his living was most necessary for these people to continue to grow (1:23-24).
-Even now as you and I study this verse, we know of the man who once tried and convicted believers, putting them to death, but now we see this man as a believer, ready to both live and die for Christ.
-Paul's influence on these people was so strong that they met his physical needs as often as they could. The pastor of the church, Epaphroditus brought to the prison food and other items to help bring comfort to Paul while in jail.
3. That dying unto Christ can bring eternal blessings.
-Remember that Jesus told us to store up treasures in heaven because they will never be taken or corrupt (Matthew 6:19-20). Paul understood this.
-Just think about it, when we depart that is not it, it is just the beginning.
-We will see Jesus, we will see our loved ones, we will see the place Jesus is preparing, we will be given that inheritance that cannot be taken away, reserved for us as Peter reminded us (I Peter 1:4).
-As we think about eternity, one day our faith will become sight.
-Our fears replaced with victory in Jesus.
-Our doubts and cares will be replaced with rejoicing around the throne of God.
-Our toils and tests will be rewarded with seeing the Lamb of God, the river of life, and the tree of life.