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Philippians 1:18-26

The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or death. (1:18-20) Paul rejoices in the knowledge that others are proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ Though some of the brothers struggled with mixed motives, still the gospel was proclaimed These brothers were neither heretics nor false teachers, they were simply immature opportunists Pauls joy was based in the objective truth of the Gospel Jesus lived, died and was resurrected God changes lives through the preaching for the gospel, as Paul taught: I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16) For to me, to live is Christ Yes, and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ will overflow on account of me. (1:21-26) In few a words Paul explains the joy of life in Christ at present, and the joy of heaven eternally The Christians life is good news (the literal meaning of gospel) abundant and eternal life Paul teaches: If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that He might be the Lord of both the dead and the living (Romans 14:8-9) The Christian cannot lose! Living in the body is experiencing Christ, and death means seeing Him face to face, for to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (II Cor 5:8) Every Christian should ask the question: For to me, to live is Christ? Or is it something else? Our worldly struggle is a tendency to add something else other than Christ to the meaning of life Paul did not struggle with this question, but his dilemma was being torn between the two He knew it was better by far to be with Christ in heaven, but he knew God had given him work to do in the body and so found joy in knowing he was making a difference eternally The result? The Philippians would experience progress and joy in the faith