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To Die is Gain--Philippians 1:21b

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INTRODUCTION:

1. If we are going to truly understand “to die is gain” we must...

A. Figure out what Paul meant when he wrote “For to me, to live is Christ”.

1 Corinthians 11:1 NKJV
1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.

B. Then, we must put this concept into practice.

Galatians 2:20 NKJV
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

2. The only ones that have anything to gain from death are those that figure this out because...

A. The only way to heaven is through Christ.

John 14:6 NKJV
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

B. The only way that goes through Christ is putting Him on in baptism.

Galatians 3:27 NKJV
27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

C. The only way that goes through Christ is to deny ones self.

Luke 9:23 NKJV
23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

D. The only way that goes through Christ is to crucify the flesh with its passions and desires.

Galatians 5:24 NKJV
24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

E. The only way that goes through Christ is to understand...

1. You do not live for you to do your will.

Romans 12:1–2 NKJV
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:1 NKJV
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Colossians 3:17 NKJV
17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

2. You are a slave of righteousness.

Romans 6:16–18 NKJV
16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
Rom 6.16-

3. Our purpose in living is to be like Christ.

Philippians 1:21 NKJV
21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

4. To be like Christ we must think like Christ.

Philippians 2:5 NKJV
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,

5. To think like Christ we must understand His Word because He is the Word.

John 1:1 NKJV
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

3. “To live is Christ, and to die is gain”.

A. What do we have to Gain from death?

B. Why did Paul see death as gain?

C. Why did Paul choose to live if death is gain?

BODY:

1. WHAT DO WE HAVE TO GAIN FROM DEATH?

A. The christian will gain eternal life.

Matthew 7:13–14 NKJV
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
John 3:16 NKJV
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Matt 25.
Matthew 25:41–46 NKJV
41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ 44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

B. The christian will gain being with Lord forever.

1 Thessalonians 4:17 NKJV
17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
1 Thess
Philippians 1:21–23 NKJV
21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.
Phil 1.21-

C. Rest from our labors.

Revelation 14:13 NKJV
13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”
Matthew 11:28 NKJV
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matt 28.30-31
Hebrews 4:9–11 NKJV
9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. 11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.
Heb 4.9-

D. Victory...

1. Over this world.

1 John 5:1–5 NKJV
1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
1 John 5:4 NKJV
4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
1 John 5.1-5

2. Over death.

1 Corinthians 15:51–57 NKJV
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Cor 15.51-

E. A place of no more tears, sorrow, death or pain.

Revelation 21:4–8 NKJV
4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” 5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” 6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

F. A Place of eternal day.

Rev 21.4-
Revelation 22:5 NKJV
5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

2. WHY DID PAUL SEE DEATH AS GAIN?

A. Because of the life he lived.

1. Before he was a Christian.

Galatians 1:13 NKJV
13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it.

2. This persecution of the church must have haunted him.

1 Corinthians 15:9 NKJV
9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
Ephesians 3:8 NKJV
8 To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
1 Timothy 1:15 NKJV
15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

A. Paul had a thorn in his flesh.

2 Corinthians 12:7–10 NKJV
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Cor 12.7-

B. This thorn was given to Paul lest he become exalted above measure.

C. He prayed three times that it be removed.

D. Jesus answered my grace is sufficient for you.

E. Paul wanted this thorn to be removed and in death it would be.

B. After he became a Christian.

2 Timothy 4:6–8 NKJV
6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
2 Timothy
2 Timothy
2 Timothy 4:6–8 NKJV
6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

1. Paul understood that if he remained faithful he would receive the crown of righteousness.

1 Corinthians 9:25 NKJV
25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
James 1:12 NKJV
12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

C. Because of the persecution he suffered.

2 Timothy 1:8 NKJV
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,
2 Timothy 1:12 NKJV
12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

1. Paul lived a hard life as a Christian.

2 Corinthians 11:23–28 NKJV
23 Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. 24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.
2 Cor. 11.23-

A. This is the life that Paul told Timothy that all Christians would endure.

2 Timothy 3:12 NKJV
12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

3. WHY DID PAUL CHOOSE TO LIVE IF DEATH IS GAIN?

A. “To remain in the flesh is more needful for you.”

Philippians 1:22–24 NKJV
22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. 24 Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.

1. To the christian who has figured out “to live is Christ” death is a reward.

Matthew 25:23 NKJV
23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

A. There are people here that need to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.

1 Timothy 2:3–7 NKJV
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, 7 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
1 Timothy 2.3-

B. Paul understood that there were people that he still needed to reach with the gospel and without his preaching some would never know the truth.

Romans 10:14 NKJV
14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

C. We have also been sent to preach the gospel and there are people that only you can reach that will never know the truth if you do not preach it to them.

Mark 16:15–16 NKJV
15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

CONCLUSION:

1. One has a lot to gain from death if it is understood what it means “to live is Christ”.

A. Do you see death the way that Paul did?

1. We are all sinners and just as horrible as Saul of Tarsus was.

Romans 3:23 NKJV
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

2. Most of us have been cleansed of that old man of sin and had our name changed.

Romans 6:1–6 NKJV
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
Rom 6.1-

A. Saul became Paul.

B. We crucified the old man and was raised a new man if we have been baptised.

C. The people that once love Paul now persecuted him.

D. How does the world see us?

1. They saw Paul as a threat to the evil life style they lived so they persecuted him?
2. Does the world see you as a threat to evil by the life style you live and proclaim?
3. If world sees you as a threat to evil it will hate you.
John 15:18–20 NKJV
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
John 15.18-

E. If the word hates you as it did Christ, you will understand “to die is gain”.

1. The world hated Paul.
2. Does it hate you?

2. Do you love people enough to help them to be hated by the world.

A. If so you will understand why Paul was hard-pressed between the two.

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