Updated: Apr 10
Philippians 1:21 says, “For to me, to live is MASHIACH , 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 MASHIACH” cannot be overstated. In all honesty, this phrase should be central to every Believer’s life.
In this statement, the apostle Paul is saying that everything he has tried to be, everything he is, and everything he looked forward to being pointed to MASHIACH. From the time of Paul’s conversion until his martyrdom, every move he made was aimed at advancing the knowledge, Besorah, and called out assembly of MASHIACH. Paul’s singular aim was to bring glory to YAHUSHA.
“To live is MASHIACH” means that we proclaim the Besorah of MASHIACH. Paul 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 HA’MASHIACH and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). He brought the message of MASHIACH’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 MASHIACH” means that we imitate the example of MASHIACH. Everything that YAHUSHA did and said, that’s what Paul wanted to do and say. The called out assembly benefitted from his holy example: “Follow my example, as I follow the example of MASHIACH” (1 Corinthians 11:1). What would YAHUSHA do? That’s what we want to do.
“To live is MASHIACH” means that we pursue the knowledge of MASHIACH. We want to know MASHIACH better and better each day. Not just a set of facts about MASHIACH, but MASHIACH Himself. “I want to know MASHIACH—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 MASHIACH” means that we are willing to give up anything that prevents us from having MASHIACH. Paul’s testimony in this regard: “Whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of MASHIACH. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing MASHIACH YAHUSHA my KING, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain MASHIACH and be found in him” (Philippians 3:7-9). We cling to the promise of our KING in Mark 10:29-30 that our sacrifices for YAHUSHAs’ sake will be repaid a hundredfold.
“To live is MASHIACH” means that MASHIACH is our focus, our goal, and our chief desire. MASHIACH is the center point of our mind, heart, body and soul. Everything that we do, we do for MASHIACH’s glory. As we run the “race marked out for us,” we lay aside the entangling sin and worldly distractions, “fixing our eyes on YAHUSHA” (Hebrews 12:1-2). He is our life.