Summary: For many people, life is meaningless and death is terrifying. For the person who has put his faith and hope in Christ life is a great privilege and death is a great prospect.

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TEXT: “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain!” (Philippians 1:21)

INTRO: For many, life is confusing and death is terrifying. But for the Christian, life is a great privilege, and death is a great prospect.”

I. Life is a Great Privilege: “To live is Christ!” (i.e., by, in and for Christ)

A. The privilege of serving Christ

“If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me.” (Phil. 1:22)

“What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me?” (Psalm 116:12)

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (Col. 3:23, 24)

B. The privilege of suffering for Christ

“For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.” (Philippians 1:29)

“… that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…” (Philippians 3:10)

“As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” (Romans 8:36)

C. The privilege of finding our satisfaction and proving to the world the sufficiency of Christ

“Not that I am speaking of being in need for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13)

“… as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.” (Phil. 1:20)

II. Death is a Great Prospect: “To die is gain!”

A. Death means rest:

1) from struggle:

“… for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.” (Hebrews 4:10)

2) from sin:

“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom. 7:24)

3) from suffering:

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Rev. 21:6)

B. Death means reward:

1) Of standing in the presence of Christ:

“My desire is to depart and be with Christ…” (Philippians 1: 23)

“Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” (II Corinthians 5:8)

2) Of seeing the beauty of Christ:

“As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.” (Psalm 17:15)

“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me.” (Job 19:25-27)

3) Of securing the approval of Christ:

“Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:21)

4) Of sharing in the glory of Christ:

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:19)

“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:29)

“For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ is your life appears, then you will also appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:3)


Because for the Christian the Christian life is a great privilege, he faces life with enthusiasm. And because for him death is a great prospect he faces death with equanimity. Truly, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

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