Philippians 1:18-26 To Live Is Christ

What is life?… Life does not just mean eating and drinking and sleeping and rising and doing my work or job in life. That is not what Paul means by life. He means a purpose in life, the things that give it real meaning. He is referring to how I spend most of my time when I have my leisure, what I read and what I think about. That is a very good test. It is, of course, a characteristic of love that it is always thinking about the object of its love, and, whether we like it or not, that is true of every one of us. That is why this text comes as such a test, ‘Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also’ (Matt. 6:21). What do we think about? What are our real interests? What is the thing that we are anxious about more and more? Well, with Paul it was Christ: it was always Christ in the centre.

Let me now go on to what I would describe as the average man’s view of life and this is where the word of the Apostle tests us so profoundly. Christian people, members of Christian churches, if we were asked, ‘What is living to you? What really constitutes life to you? What is the thing of all things to which you hold?’ is it not true that many of us would have to admit and confess that it means our families, our homes, our work, our occupations, our activities in life? Does not living often mean to many of us the companionship and love of our loved ones, the home life and circle? What precious things these are, yes, but they often become the thing in life, and when they are taken from us, our life, our world, collapses and we have nothing left. They are good people perhaps, nice people, living a perfectly moral and very happy life, but when one of them is taken you know that the whole basis of their life has gone.

So, then, I end with my question: is living to us, Christ? I wonder whether we can make that statement that was made by Count Zinzendorf, the Moravian leader who helped John Wesley both before and after his conversion. He had never had the vision that Paul had on the road to Damascus, but to him, too, Christ was in the centre. Can we make his motto our own? ‘I have one passion, it is he and he alone.’ ‘To me living is Christ.’ Oh that we all might have this passion! I believe we could transform our land in a day, I believe a great revival would come, if only we had this passion. He and he alone! Let us dwell upon him; let us meditate upon him; let us ask the Holy Spirit to reveal him to us. Let us pray for it; let us spend time with it; let us absorb it; let it take the central place; let us do all we can to get to know him better, for to know him is to love him.

I have one passion—it is he and he alone.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Heart Preparation
Read Philippians 1:18-26. What is there in life that if you lost it then you couldn’t go on living? How does that thing compare to the great reward we have in Christ? Take some time to consider these questions and if necessary ask God to replace this lesser love with more love of Christ.


Posted on: February 26, 2015 - 10:00PM

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