Paul introduces himself as a person who is very humble, acting according to the will of God, with a burden of gospel, withstands for tribulations and persecutions for the sake of Christ the Savior and the Redeemer.
This is how Paul introduces himself to the churches in his letters to Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. He says, “I am Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle by the will of God, separated unto the gospel of God, prisoner of Jesus Christ.”
Though Paul was not one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ, He was the last one who saw Jesus. He saw Jesus directly. “And last of all he was seen of me also…” Paul himself confirms this in 1 Cor 15:8 and also 1 Cor 9:1. He experienced the power of Jesus Christ. So he says,
“For I am in a strait betwixt two, having the desire to depart and to be with Christ; for it is very far better” (Philippians 1:23).
Why Paul desires to depart and wants to be with God? Or Why He doesn’t want to live on the earth and wants to be with God in Heaven? Or why he prefers death to life?
If anyone wants to be with God, He has to die. In general sense, human point of view, death is very painful. Death is a great loss. Yes, in death we lose everything. Death is the worst thing that happens to every human being. Death is inevitable. Death is the universal sentence of God against mankind for sin.
Death through Adam, life through Christ:
The Lord God commanded the man, “…you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:15-17)
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned. So that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:12-20).
See how our God is able to turn the worst into the best! Our Lord Jesus defeated death with death! O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (1 Corinthians 15:55). Now all of we, the believers of Jesus Christ no longer fear death but on the contrary, we rejoice and eagerly await the future.
The most horrible event that ever happened in the history of the world was the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus.
The most excellent event that ever happened in the history of the world was the resurrection of our Lord Jesus.
What is death to the Christians or Born-again believers in Christ? Here are few perspectives of believers regarding death:
Death brings us into the immediate presence of God. (Philippians 1:23)
Death reconciles us with all of God’s faithful children in times past, including our own saved loved ones. (Matthew 8:11)
Death ends the worst of all evils; sinning. Death delivers us from the troubles of this life (Romans 7:24-25).
So, for those who are in Christ, Death is gain. Death is not loss. Death is not destruction. But death is, in fact, benefit. Death is profit. Death is to our (who are in Christ) advantage.