Paul had a desire to depart and be with Christ. Who was going to depart? Paul was. Paul was talking about physical death. When the physical body dies, the spirit lives on. The spirit of man is eternal, and will never cease to exist. When a believer dies, his spirit departs to be with Christ. Whereas when an unbeliever dies, his spirit goes down to hell.
Paul said that for him to depart and be with Christ was far better for himself. However, for him to stay and abide in the flesh was more necessary for the church at Philippi, so that he could continue to teach and minister to them. Paul was having a difficult time choosing between the two.
Paul was still going to live – he was just having a hard time deciding whether to stay on and live in his body a while longer, or to depart and be with Christ. When Paul died, his body would be buried and stay in the earth. However, the real Paul (his spirit) will never die.
The real man, his spirit, was going to depart. Physical death is just like departing to another city or country. There is no need for overwhelming sorrow or grief when a saved loved one dies because he goes to heaven if he is a believer.
Romans 10:9-10 (NKJV) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Jesus told Nicodemus that he needed to be born again. It didn’t make sense to Nicodemus then because it was impossible to return to his mother’s womb. Paul talks about believing with the heart, not referring to the actual organ, but to the spirit of man. The born-again experience as stated in the above verse, refers to the heart of man or spirit man and it is this part of us that has become new or a new creation! The spirit of this new creation will depart to be with our Lord Jesus after the physical death.
Sermon Series: From the Closet to The Street (Part 2)
讲章系列: 从内室到大街 (第二部分)