Jesus Christ our Life our ALL
Category : General
Philippians 1: 21 (KJV)
21For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
It is said that which a man loves supremely is that for which he lives–money, fame, pleasure, etc. The lofty altitude of moral nature to which we have to aspire is to find in Christ our only reason for living. Apart from this, the yearning aspirations and voids of humanity can never be satisfied.
Here we find the apostle saying, ‘My sole aim in living is to glorify Christ.’ He is the supreme End of my life, and I value it only as being devoted to his honor. His aim was not honor, learning, gold, pleasure; it was, to glorify the Lord Jesus. This was the single purpose of his soul, a purpose to which he devoted himself with as much singleness and ardor as ever did a miser to the pursuit of gold, or a devotee of pleasure to amusement, or an aspirant for fame to ambition. Whether I live or die, Christ is gain to me. While I live I am Christ’s property and servant, and Christ is my portion; if I die – if I be called to witness the truth at the expense of my life, this will be gain; I shall be saved from the remaining troubles and difficulties in life, and be put immediately in possession of my heavenly inheritance. As, therefore, it respects myself, it is a matter of perfect indifference to me whether I be taken off by a violent death, or whether I be permitted to continue here longer; in either case I can lose nothing.
To some men to live is a man, for a man; they are content to merge their individuality in his; they do not care to be known if he is known; they always wish to be regarded as his friends; they live on his words; they immortalize themselves by recording them; to please him is their highest honor and felicity, and they leave a beautiful biography behind them in which they entomb and lose themselves, and rear a monument to the memory of their idol. Such was Boswell’s “Life of Johnson”–“To me to live is Johnson!” Such was Lockhart’s “Life of Scott”–“To me to live is Scott!” Such is the elegant tribute of Tacitus to Julius Agricola!” “To me to live is Agricola” Such is the, to me, sad and shocking life of Cicero, by Dr. Middleton–“To me to live is Cicero!” But Paul said, “To me to live is Christ!”
Christ was his life “efficiently”, the efficient Cause and Author of his spiritual life; He spoke it into him, produced it in him, and disciplined him with it: and He was his life, objectively, the matter and object of his life, that on which he lived. However, it was not so much he that lived, as Christ that lived in him; he lived by faith on Christ, and his spiritual life was maintained and supported by feeding on him as the bread of life: and he was his life, “finally”, the end of his life; what he aimed at throughout the whole course of his life was the glory of Christ, the good of his church and people, the spread of his Gospel, the honor of his name, and the increase of his interest; and this last seems to be the true sense of the phrase here.
Just before Calvin died, he wrote to a friend these words: “My respiration is difficult, and I am about to breathe the last gasp, happy to live and die in Jesus Christ, who is gain to all His children in life and death.” He felt what Paul felt.
Can I say it in any measure? Does my present life say it ‘To me to live is Christ?’ Would it be mockery in me to say it? Is Christ at all that Christ to me that I may say, ‘To me to live is Christ’?
Have a Great and God filled Day!