To Live is Christ To Die is Gain
Last week we were introduced to Saul. He was a persecutor of Christians and worked tirelessly to squash the Christian movement. Before we get into the background of the story, the key lesson for us all to learn today is this “to live is Christ to die is gain” Now that is a direct quote from a passage of scripture found in Phillippians 1:21 ‘For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.’ We are going to learn a bit more about what that means after our story.
About the Story
You can find today’s story in Acts of the Apostles Chapter 9, verses 19-31. So, a little more background on Saul. Saul was persecuting Christians and even ordering the execution of some. Persecution means abusing and making it difficult for a person to live following their religious beliefs.
That’s right. One of the stories about this is the story of Stephen. A young man who was a powerful preacher. Long story short, Saul and many others did not like what Stephen was saying. The crowd picked up stones and threw the rocks at him until he died. The crowd looked to Saul for approval. They did not want trouble with the religious leaders.
If you were a Christian at this time, you did not want to meet Saul, which explains in last week’s story why Ananas was so hesitant to go and pray for Saul and restore his eyesight. Listen to Ananas’ response. This is Acts 9:13-14. “But Lord,” exclaimed Ananas, “I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem! And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.”
All the Christians at that time knew of Saul and his desire to destroy the Christian Church! One more thing about Saul. Saul, at some point after this story, goes by another name Paul. We first read about this in Acts 13:9. People often think of Saul’s name change as happening at the same time as when Jesus blinded him on the Road to Damascus. Let’s jump into the story.
Can we really consider ourselves to be living the best life if we are not living for Christ?Tweet
It seems that conflict followed Saul wherever he went. Many of the controversies in the new testament have Saul at the centre. Which brings us to the lesson for today, “to live is Christ to die is gain”
Can we really consider ourselves to be living the best life if we are not living for Christ? Not at all. You know some might say that Saul was reckless in the way he lived his life but I think he just had a different perspective. He knew that if he were to die because of his faith then he would simply be in heaven with Jesus which is much better. So he lived his life with nothing to lose because he had already gained it all. His life was now Christ’s.
Yeah, he fully and completely lived his life for Christ. He worried about nothing he could lose.