For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
I. IN REGARD TO DEATH ITSELF IT IS NOT A GAIN. It is part of the curse, the effect of sin. We may look further and consider these things as they bear upon eternity. The irrevocable step is taken. Every other step may be recovered, but not this. If death be not gain, what is it? Infinite, eternal loss. It is no small thing —
(1) To lose one's lamp of profession; it has cost years of hypocrisy to keep it;
(2) to lose one's hope;
(3) to lose one's body;
(4) but to lose one's soul, what is there not in that loss.He that hath not death for his gain, what has he for his gain?
(1) Is his money his gain? he had better not have acquired it.
(2) His talent? he had better not have used it:
(3) His soul? he had better not have had it.
(4) The gospel? he had better never have heard it.
II. IN WHAT SENSE CAN THE CHILD OF GOD SAY THAT DEATH IS GAIN.
(1) Not because he has more pardon. He is as much forgiven on earth as in heaven.
(2) Not because he is more a child of God.
(3) Not because he is more the object of God's sovereign love.
2. Positively. Because —
(1) He enjoys perfect freedom from sin and temptation.
(2) He enters the land of perfect rest, full enjoyment, and unbroken peace.
(3) He mingles with the society of perfected beings.
(4) He is forever with Christ.
(J. H. Evans, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.