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Philippians, Chapter One, Lesson Four

V.21 (Cont'd.)

** Let's look at these two statements one at a time. How can the phrase "to live is Christ" make a Christian more bold in his daily walk?

If my only concern is Christ's desire and will, if my passion is for His exaltation, then I will be bold on His behalf because of the absence of self-centered fretting! cf. Psalm 37:7-9

In Psalm 37, David encourages us to not look at the world around us, but to look boldly to the Lord for His provision and care.

V. 7 - Rest in the Lord
V. 7 - Wait patiently for Him
V. 7 - Do not fret because of him who propers in his [evil] way
V. 8 - Cease from anger and forsake wrath
V. 8 - Do not fret, it leads only to evildoing

** And secondly, how does the phrase "to die is gain", produce boldness in the heart of the believer?

If we truly believed what Scripture tells us about our future in eternity with Christ, we would fear no man in the here-and-now, but would be bold for the sake of Jesus Christ.
cf. Matthew 10:28, Colossians 3:2-4 and 1Peter 3:6

V.22 ** Paul now starts to reason with himself about the profound truth he has just written. What is it that he is considering?

If he continues in this life, God will grant him fruitful labor for "the cause of Christ" (V.13), and if he were to die he would experience immeasureable gain. That's a difficult choice for the likes of the apostle Paul.

** What does that say about Paul's desire for a lifetime of "fruitful labor"?

It is just as strong as his desire to be with the Lord - which is why he says, "I do not know which to choose"!

** From Whom did Paul get his strong desire for fruit?

From the Lord Himself! cf. John 15:8 and 16


** In these next two verses, Paul will continue the inner examination or searching of his soul. Do you think this is an easy decision for the apostle?

No - he is "hard-pressed" from both directions.
sunecho - lit. "to hold together, or to hold fast"
The two choices before him were pressing in on both sides of Paul.

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