The great apostle Paul said, “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain, but if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor, yet what I shall choose I know not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart to be with Christ which is far better, however to be with you in the flesh is more needful to you” (Phil. 1:21-24). Paul was ready to die and be with the Lord, but knew it was better for those around him that he work in the flesh to save souls and strengthen the church of our Lord. What gave Paul this great resolve and attitude? I think we can see the answer in his statement in Gal. 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me, and the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Paul was chosen of God to be a witness for his Son, Jesus Christ. He was commanded to be baptized, to wash away his sins, he arose a new man in Christ (Acts 22:16) Like Paul, we also are commanded to be buried with Christ in baptism for the remission of our sins (Acts 2:38). We arise, no longer the old man of sin we once were. but a new man with new goals and a new purpose as we live and dedicate our lives to Christ (Rom.6:3-4).
God has always had a set habitation for his people. Those in the ark were saved, those outside the ark were lost when the flood came. Likewise when we are baptized into Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:3) we enter into God’s realm of safety. The bible also says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). We have no such promise of spiritual blessings outside of Christ. There is no salvation outside the body of Christ (II Tim. 2:10). We are complete only in Christ (Col. 2:10). Christ tells us that He is the vine and we are the branches, without him we wither and die and can do nothing (John 15:5-6). To put it simply, we must be baptized into the body of Christ and remain faithful so long as we may live to avoid being lost eternally. When we are raised to walk in newness of life in Christ (Eph. 2:5-6) we are to seek and set our minds on things that are above, not on the things of this world.
When we live in Christ, for Christ, we are to do his will and his work which he left clear instructions for us to do. Christ commanded us to, “go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). The Lord’s mission on this earth is clearly defined, he came to seek and save that which are lost (Luke 19:10). Our mission must be the same, to reach out to a lost and dying world presenting the saving Gospel of Christ. Where else can we go but to the Lord? What else is there to live and work for? Christ tell us, “there is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake and the gospel’s, but he shall receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses, brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions, and in the world to come, eternal life” (Mark 10:29-30). May each of us do our part to carry out the work set before us. Eternity is long and our allotted time on earth is short with much work to be done. If we truly live for Christ, to die will be our gain.
We invite all who would, to come together with us each Sunday morning at Kedron on the Coopertown Road, Russellville, Kentucky, to worship God in spirit and in truth. We neither add to God’s word or take from it. Bible study at 10:00 and Worship at 11:00. If anyone has questions: please call 270-657-2455