Useful Bible Studies > Philippians Commentary > chapter 1
A selfish person lives for himself, for this world, and for the things in it. Often, such a person knows little or nothing about God, or about life beyond death.
A Christian, however, is someone who both knows and loves Christ. That Christian believes God’s promises; and Christ promised that there will be a wonderful life for all God’s people after the death of their bodies (John 11:25-26; John 14:1-6). In heaven, the pains and troubles of their lives on earth will end (Luke 16:19-25; Revelation 21:4). There and in the New Jerusalem, they will live with Christ, whom they love, always. So death does not frighten them, as it frightens other people (Hebrews 2:14-15). For Christians, death is not loss, but rather it is to go to their true home with Christ (2 Corinthians 5:1-8).
Therefore, during their lives on earth, Christians should never be selfish. They live in this world, not for themselves, but for Christ. Their desire is for him; their attention should be constantly upon him. They declare his message: they want other people to hear his words, and not their own words (1 Corinthians 2:1-2). They do his work: they want other people to see his power, and not their own weakness (1 Corinthians 2:3-5). Christ is present in their lives: they want their inner thoughts and attitudes to become more like Christ’s attitudes (Colossians 1:27; Philippians 2:4-5). Their hope is in him; their trust is in him; his word fills their hearts and their minds (Hebrews 8:10).
Such were Paul’s attitudes from the day when he first trusted Christ. Now, as a prisoner, who could die soon, his attitudes had not changed. If he lived, he would live for Christ. When he died, he would be with Christ – and that would be much better than anything in this life (1:23).
Next part: What does a Christian's life achieve? (Philippians 1:22)
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© 2020, Keith Simons.