the solution and to be together with Christ15-12-2013 - Posted by Andre Piet
In response to my blog about the dead who sleep, until the moment the trumpet shall sound, I received several comments that all referred to Philippians 1:23. Does it not clearly state that Paul yearns “for the solution” or desires “to depart” and be with Christ? Indeed, but what is he really saying, here?
20 (…) Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether through life or through death. 21 For to me to be living is Christ, and to be dying, gain. 22 Now if it is to be living in flesh, this to me means fruit from work, and what I shall be preferring I am not making known. 23 (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.)
For Paul, to be living is Christ, and if he should die a martyr’s death, then Christ in that, too, would be magnified. He considers these two options: staying alive or dying. Which option he prefers, he does not write. What he does make known is that he yearns “for the solution” and to be with Christ. because that is by far the best. With “for the solution”, it is impossible for Paul to be referring to dying. He mentions, a third option, apart from “both”. By this he is referring to the time that the Lord Jesus Christ will come from the heavens and…
Who will transfigure the body of our humiliation, to conform it to the body of His glory… -Philippians 3:21-
On that occasion the believers will be loosened (=dissolved) from “the bonds of death” (Ps.116:3) and receive an incorruptible body, and thus, “to be always with the Lord” (1Thes.4:17). Paul is referring with yearning “for the solution”, not necessarily to the condition after dying, but to the transformation of the body, at Christ’s return from the heavens.