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Philippians, Chapter One, Lesson Four

V.23-24 (Cont'd.)

** At this point we need to stop for a clarification. What is it exactly that Paul is considering? Is he contemplating suicide?

Absolutely not! Paul's life and death are totally in the Lord's hands - he is merely considering which would be best for this time and circumstance. Either life in Christ, here and now or to depart and be with Him throughout time and eternity. cf. 2Timothy 4:6 and 2Peter 1:13-14

** In verse 23 Paul uses an unusual term or phrase for death. What is it?

"...to depart and be with Christ..."

** How does that description of "death" for a Christian differ from the death of the lost or unsaved individual?

Ours is an instantaneous transition from life to life, while theirs is an appointment to eternal
death! cf. 2Corinthians 2:14-17, Hebrews 9:27

** How does Paul feel about his upcoming transition?

That will be "...very much better"(V.23).

** Even though Paul realizes how wonderful being with Christ would be, what selfless statement does he make in verse 24?

"...yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake." Paul's devotion to ministry in the name of Jesus Christ exceeds his desire to please himself. cf. Galatians 2:20

V.25 ** Being convinced of the greater "necessity" to remain and minister to the flock of God, what two things does Paul what to build up in the Philippians' faith?

Their "progress" and "joy" - Not only was Paul "Dependent on the Brethren", but they were also dependent upon him. Paul fully understood that a Biblical perspective of life and death will always free us to minister to the needs of each other. cf. Romans 15:14

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