For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
We can see what this did for Paul.
1. It gave steady perseverance to his endeavours.
2. It put a tone of charity on all his intercourse.
3. It gave him calmness under trial and persecution.
I. SO FAR AS OUR LIFE IS FEELING we may say the text. Take —
1. Our thinking. The unity, peace, freedom, safe guidance of our thoughts, follow and are assured if to us to think is Christ.
2. Our trusting. No fear comes to us out of the uncertainty and insecurity of our earthly trusts if our great trust rests on Christ.
3. Our loving. There will be an ever-enlarging love to men if our first love be set on Christ.
4. Our hoping — that hope is full of immortality which can build on this sure foundation, "Jesus is mine."
II. SO FAR AS OUR LIFE IS ASSOCIATION, we may say the text.
1. In friendship His presence can make our hearts burn within us.
2. In the family He can be the all-hallowing thought sanctifying the home life.
3. In society He can make by His unseen presence our social fellowships purer and more truly happy. If this is not so it is because we have permitted the un-Christly stamp to get printed on our associations.
III. SO FAR AS LIFE IS ACTIVITY we may say the text.
1. In business, "Let every man wherein he is called," etc.
2. In the Church.
3. In the world of morals, politics, science: all these are spheres of Christ's rule.
(R. Tuck, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.