Verse of the Day 8.28.17 — Philippians 1:21
21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.1
21 ἐμοὶ γὰρ τὸ ζῆν Χριστὸς καὶ τὸ ἀποθανεῖν κέρδος.2
C4C Translation: For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.3
These are the words of a man in chains for the sake of the Gospel (Php 1:17), yet still seeking to glorify Christ in every facet of his life (Php 1:20). Dying as a Christian martyr would serve to further Paul’s ultimate cause for living — the glorification of Christ. And, “since Christ is the goal of life, dying is gain if it is a way of bearing witness to Christ.”4 Furthermore, after doing so, Paul would be (united) with Christ (Php 1:23) — a heavenly reward.5
Are we willing to die for Christ? Are we willing to live for Christ?
Memorize Philippians 1:21 after watching a brief video tutorial demonstrating the How To Memorize Any Bible Verse in Less Than Five Minutes method below:
- The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Php 1:21.
- Michael W. Holmes, The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition (Lexham Press; Society of Biblical Literature, 2011–2013), Php 1:21.
- This translation is identical to the NIV, ESV and NASB95
- G. Walter Hansen, The Letter to the Philippians, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Nottingham, England: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009), 83.
- “The gain, then, is not only the apostle’s own receiving of his heavenly reward in the presence of his Master (v. 23), but the promotion of the gospel in the witness which his fearless martyrdom for Christ will produce.” Ralph P. Martin, Philippians: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 11, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1987), 84.
- “Tertullian regarded martyrdom as the highest accomplishment of the Christian life and referred to it as the ‘second baptism.'” David S. Dockery et al., Holman Bible Handbook (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 1992), 860.
- “This account of the gain of a martyr’s death in the twentieth century echoes what Paul meant by the gain of death: gain for the glory of Christ through proclaiming Christ in dying a martyr’s death. Though Paul’s letter is not a manual on martyrdom or promoting martyrdom, his words here have provided needed encouragement and inspiration for many facing a martyr’s death.” G. Walter Hansen, The Letter to the Philippians, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Nottingham, England: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009), 84.