Cepher Philippiym (Philippians) 1:21 says,
“For to me, to live is HAMASHIACH(Christ), and to die is gain.”
Most people focus on the second part of the verse, “to die is gain,” and contemplate the joys of heaven. But we should not overlook what comes before. The importance of the phrase “to live is HAMASHIACH” cannot be overstated. In all honesty, this phrase should be central to every believer’s life.
In this statement, the apostle Sha’ul(Paul) is saying that everything he has tried to be, everything he is, and everything he looked forward to being pointed to HAMASHIACH. From the time of Sha’ul’s conversion until his martyrdom, every move he made was aimed at advancing the knowledge, gospel, and assembly of those set apart for HAMASHIACH. Sha’ul’s singular aim was to bring glory to Adonai YAHUSHA.
“To live is HAMASHIACH” means that we proclaim the gospel of Adonai YAHUSHA. Sha’ul preached in synagogues; he preached at riversides; he preached as a prisoner; he preached as an apostle; he preached as a tentmaker.
His message was constant: “YAHUSHA HAMASHIACH and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). He brought the message of Adonai YAHUSHA’s sacrifice to kings, soldiers, statesmen, priests, and philosophers, Jews and Gentiles, men and women. He would preach to literally anyone who would listen.
“To live is HAMASHIACH” means that we imitate the example of HAMASHIACH. Everything that Adonai YAHUSHA did and said, that’s what Sha’ul wanted to do and say. The called out assembly benefitted from his godly example: “Follow my example, as I follow the example of HAMASHIACH” (1 Corinthians 11:1). What would Adonai YAHUSHA do? That’s what we want to do.
“To live is HAMASHIACH” means that we pursue the knowledge of HAMASHIACH. We want to know HAMASHIACH better and better each day. Not just a set of facts about HAMASHIACH, but HAMASHIACH Himself. “I want to know HAMASHIACH—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11).
“To live is HAMASHIACH” means that we are willing to give up anything that prevents us from having HAMASHIACH. Sha’ul’s testimony in this regard: “Whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of HAMASHIACH. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing YAHUSHA HAMASHIACH my ADONAI, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage that I may gain HAMASHIACH and be found in him” (Philippians 3:7-9). We cling to the promise of our Lord in
We cling to the promise of our Adonai YAHUSHA in Mark 10:29-30 that our sacrifices for YAHUSHA’S’ sake will be repaid a hundredfold.
“To live is HAMASHIACH” means that HAMASHIACH is our focus, our goal, and our chief desire. HAMASHIACH is the centre point of our mind, heart, body and soul. Everything that we do, we do for HAMASHIACH’s glory. As we run the “race marked out for us,” we lay aside the entangling sin and worldly distractions, “fixing our eyes on ADONAI YAHUSHA” (Hebrews 12:1-2). He is our life.