From the pages of Scripture, To Live is Christ To Die is Gain delivers Gospel-centered, practical applications for the Christian life. Matt Chandler and Jared C. Wilson present a walk through the book of Philippians. In it they exposit such things as; the worthy life, what it is to be owned by Christ, and what it means to die to one’s self…and how that is all gain. The introduction states the purpose of the book is “to grow mature in Christ”(Heb. 5:14), and to show us what that looks like.
The odd beginning
The book begins with the backstory from Acts 16 of the establishment of the Church in Philippi. How God saves a business woman, a slave girl, and a blue-collar Joe(the jailer). These three would not have ever had any reason to meet, relate, or be together in any way. In addition, because of their diverse standing in society, they wouldn’t have a chance to. The book recounts the three stories of conversion, and why Paul remembers them in the opening remarks of Philippians.
The worthy life
The next chapter picks up in Philippians 1:12, and carries us through verse thirty. Chandler unpacks what the worthy life looks like in the Gospel. How it is fueled by faith in Jesus Christ. Thus we get the foundation (and title) in verse twenty-one, “to live is Christ, to die is gain”. This unpacked for us in the rest of the passage, as he explains:
“The Christian living a life worthy of the gospel of Jesus is fearless, regardless of the situation.”(p.42)
“Fearless faith results from holding on to Christ as our treasure. Gospel courage comes from gospel preciousness.”(p.45)
Don’t want to spoil it…
Because I want you to discover these applications on your own, in this book, I will not spoil it for you. But I will share that throughout the rest of this book, Chandler unpacks humility- what it is, what it looks like, and does a very good job of exalting Christ in every part of our relationship with Christ. Christ sustains, he gives the Holy Spirit for empowerment and gifting. Christ is the creator and sustainer of life itself..(John 1:1-3, Col. 1:17).
This book is a quick read, if you choose to read it in one sitting. It is just over 200 pages. It is organized perfectly for personal study, to do one chapter a night. It is also a great fit for small groups.
As you will find in my subsequent reviews, any book that requires you to have your Bible open to read it, is one that I will always recommend. I hope it challenges and encourages you, as it did me.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.(Phil. 4:23)