We all know some famous mottos:
- Nike: “Just do it.”
- Apple: “Think different.”
- McDonald’s: “I’m lovin’ it.”
- Baptist Health Care motto: Helping people throughout life’s journey.
What’s a good motto for a Christian?
God works in mysterious ways. I picked up a free book at NOBTS about Christianity in China after the Cultural Revolution titled The Dragon and the Lamb. It briefly told the story of Dr. Bill Wallace. Then I bought the rare reprinted book Bill Wallace of China (by Jesse C. Fletcher). Dr. Bill Wallace served as a missionary doctor at a hospital in China during the Japanese invasion 1930s-40s. He was murdered by the Communists in China. Chinese believers erected a pillar on his grave with the inscription “For to me to live is Christ” in Wuchow, China, 1951. Wallace’s bones were reburied 1985 in Greenwood Cemetery, Knoxville, Tennessee.
Philippians 1:21: For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. This is a good motto.
Where was Paul and what happened to him when he wrote Philippians? Best evidence favors Rome as the place of origin and the date as c. 61. This fits well with the account of Paul’s house arrest in Acts 28:14–31. When he wrote Philippians, he was not in the infamous Mamertine Prison as he was when he wrote 2 Timothy. He was in his own rented house, where for two years he was free to impart the gospel to all who came to him. Paul wrote the letter after facing death in Jerusalem and waiting for his trial in Rome.
If you lived for money, material things, pleasure, fame, vacations, or even family, then what would be your motto? “For to me to live is money, and to die is to lose it all.” “He who dies with the most toys, still dies.” (He doesn’t win.)
What is the significance of For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain?
To be continued…