For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
I. THE CHRISTIAN'S LIFE A DESCRIPTION OF IT. The Christian lives —
1. From Christ. Christ is the source of his existence.
2. On Christ. Christ is the support of the life He has given, nourishing it with communications from Him self.
3. To Christ. Coming from Him, He is its aim and end.
II. THE DESIRE HE HAS WHILE LIVING THIS LIFE (ver. 23).
1. "To set loose a second time," as vessels, not outward bound, but from a foreign port on a return voyage. He is not looking back on the country behind him, he is looking on the sea which he has to cross before he can get home.
2. Why? Because Christ is there. "Whom have I in heaven but Thee?"
3. This is the result of the new life which tends towards Christ, its source.
4. Thus to be with Christ is "beyond all comparison better." There is a fruition of Christ above, compared with which the highest enjoyment we can get out of Him here is as nothing.
III. A FEELING IN THE CHRISTIAN'S MIND COUNTERACTING THIS DESIRE, viz., a desire to remain, springing from —
1. Love to Christ. "To me to live is Christ" — it is for Christ's honour and glory to live a fruitful life.
2. Love for his fellow men. Love for self would say "Go"; love for perishing sinners is stronger, and says "Stay." The hesitation only lasted as long as he was speaking of it.
(C. Bradley, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.