Article written by Pastor Tan Kok Beng

5 February, 2023

LIVING for christ 

(Christian Living 10)

The Apostle Paul had one passion in life and that was living for Christ. He said, “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil.1:21). For the Christian, life is all about living for Jesus, because only in doing so is there meaning and fulfillment. The Lord Himself said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). That is abundant life – a life filled with joy, peace, satisfaction and victory.

This passion speaks of total commitment to Christ. The words, “For to me to live is Christ” are a declaration that implies nothing is more important or worthwhile than to live for Christ. A paraphrase by J. B. Philips says, “To me, living simply means Christ”. That is, Living is equated with Christ: no Christ, no living. Without Christ there is no true life and no true living. After all our Lord Jesus said, “I AM the Life” (John 14:6). Hence the Apostle John said, “He who has the Son has life; he who has not the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12).

The Bible says that in Christ “dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and you are complete in Him” (Col.2:9-10 - NKJV). The NIV puts it this way: “For in Christ all the fulness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fulness”. John’s Gospel reiterates this: “Of His fulness have we all received – grace upon grace” (John 1:16). The NIV Translation: “From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another”. In other words, when we have Christ in our life, we have everything. We do not need anything else to make our life “better’ or “happier”. The Psalmist said, “In Your Presence is fulness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).

This experience is possible when we dedicate our life to Christ and pledge to live solely for Him. He must be the passion of our life, as Paul did. In Him we have “fulness” of life and we are “complete in Him”. That means we need nothing else to have abundant life.

Then Paul tells us the result of living for Christ is “to die is gain”. To many, death is a regret or tragedy, or at least, “a loss”. Death to the Christian can only be a “gain” when we live totally for Christ. The second part of the verse can be true only if the first part is realized, “For to me to live is Christ”! If we live for ourselves, death will not be a gain. If we live for material wealth alone, death would be a loss. For Jesus warned us: “What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).

What do we gain at death when we live for Christ? Obviously it is eternal life and Heaven. Then we will gain our reward and receive the “crown of life, the crown of righteousness and the imperishable crown”. The delight we will have when we go before the Throne of God is to cast our crowns before Him in worship. Hallelujah!

Only those who live for Christ can and will look forward to death or to the trumpet call of the Rapture. May we all have this full assurance of hope in Him.

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