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Philippians 1:23,24 – to be with Christ

01-01-2023 - Posted by Hans

(Yet I am being pressed out of the two, having a yearning for the solution and to be together with Christ, for it, rather, is much better.) Yet to be staying in the flesh is more necessary because of you.

Verse 23 is a parenthesis, a short break. Verse 24 is in fact a continuation of verse 22, with the message: not to die but to live would mean working with fruit for Paul. And the Philippians would also benefit from this.

In verses 20-22, Paul considered the options of dying and living. He recognizes the advantages of both options (for Christ!), but he deliberately leaves open which of the two he should choose. He doesn’t decide that. However, in verse 23 he mentions a third option of which he says: that is by far the best. Not die or continue to live in the flesh, but “yearning for the solution and be together with Christ.” Paul is referring to the same event that he also writes about in 3:20,21: the return of Jesus Christ from heaven who will transform our humbled body and make it conformable to the body of his glory. On that occasion, all believers will simultaneously ‘depart’ and go together in clouds to meet the Lord in the air (1Thes.4:17).