"For to me to live is Christ" -- Philippians 1:21
There are three cardinal words in the passage: "me," "live," "Christ." The middle term "live" is defined in the union of the two extremes. The two carbon electrodes of the arc lamp are brought into relationship, and the result is a light of brilliant intensity. And these two terms, "me" and "Christ," are brought into relationship, and there is revealed "the light of life," and I become "alive unto God." The human finds life in union with the divine.
Now this is the only contact which justifies the usage of the term "life." Any other
application of the word is illegitimate and degrading. The word "life" stands efined in the relationship of the apostle's words. But we take other extremes, and combine them, and we name the resultant, "life."
"For me to live is money." Me -- money! And we describe the union as "life." We are using a gloriously spacious and wealthy term to label a petty and superficial gratification, which is as transient and uncertain as the ephemera that dance through the feverish hour of a single summer's day.
"For me to live is pleasure!" Me -- pleasure! And we describe the union as "life." It is a mere sensation, having no more relationship to life in its reality than the sluggish and ill-defined existence of the amoebae has to the large mental and spiritual exercises of the Apostle John. "She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth."
"For me to live is fame" Me -- fame! And we describe the union as "life." It is a mere galvanized spasm, and is no more worthy of the regal term "life" than a will-o'-the-wisp is worthy of bearing the name of the sun.
Of all these relationships we may employ the New Testament indictment and say, "Thou hast a name to live and art dead." All other combinations fail. By no other fellowships can we produce the resultant. Life is the unique product of a unique union. "This is life, to know Jesus."
"For me to live is Christ." Such was the rich and ineffable life of the Apostle Paul. Let us turn our thoughts upon it in prayerful meditation. PDF HERE.
-John Henry Jowett