For to me, to live is Christ

(Thomas Watson, "Body of Divinity")

Paul was a great admirer of Christ. He desired to know
nothing but Christ, and Him crucified. "For to me, to
live is Christ
and to die is gain!" Philippians 1:21

"For to me, to live is Christ." That is, "Christ is my life!"
Or thus, "My life is made up of Christ." As a wicked man's
life is made up of sin, so Paul's life was made up of Christ
—he was full of Christ. That I may give you the sense of
the text more fully, take it in these three particulars:

[1] "For to me, to live is Christ," that is—Christ is the
PRINCIPLE of my life.
I fetch my spiritual life from Christ,
as the branch fetches its sap from the root. "Christ lives in me."
Gal 2:20. Jesus Christ sends forth life into me, to quicken me
to every holy action. Thus, Christ is the principle of my life;
from His fullness I live—as the branch lives from the root.

[2] "For to me, to live is Christ," that is—Christ is the
END of my life.
I live not for myself—but for Christ. All
my living, is to do service to Christ. "Whether we live, we
live unto the Lord." Rom 14:8. We lay out ourselves wholly
for Christ. The design of our life is to exalt Christ, and to
make the crown upon His head flourish. In this sense, Christ
is the end of my life—when my whole life is a living for Christ.

[3] "For to me, to live is Christ," that is—Christ is the
JOY of my life.
Psalm 43:4, "God my exceeding joy,"
or the cream of my joy. A Christian can rejoice in Christ,
when worldly joys are gone. When the tulip in a garden
withers—a man still rejoices in his jewels which are locked
up in the house. Just so—when worldly joys are gone—a
saint can rejoice in Christ, the pearl of great price. In this
sense, Christ is the joy of my life—if Christ were gone, my
life would be a death to me.

"For to me, to live is Christ!" Christ is the principle of
my life, the end of my life, the joy of my life. If we can
say, "For to me, to live is Christ," we may comfortably
conclude, "and to die is gain!"