Fruitful labor (Phil. 1:22)

“If I am to live

In the human flesh,

That means

Fruitful labor

For me.

I do not know

Which I prefer.”

εἰ δὲ τὸ ζῆν ἐν σαρκί, τοῦτό μοι καρπὸς ἔργου, καὶ τί αἱρήσομαι οὐ γνωρίζω.

Paul said, “If I am to live in the human flesh (εἰ δὲ τὸ ζῆν ἐν σαρκί), that means fruitful labor for me (τοῦτό μοι καρπὸς ἔργου).  I do not know which I prefer (καὶ τί αἱρήσομαι οὐ γνωρίζω).”  Only the Pauline letters used this word αἱρήσομαι, that means to choose or prefer.  Paul added, if he were to live in human flesh, he would be able to perform some useful labor.  Although he preferred to continue to work for Jesus, he did not know which he preferred, human life on earth with Christ or eternal life with Christ after his human death.  Paul was torn between his active human suffering life and eternal bliss with Christ.  Do you prefer a suffering human life or eternal happiness with Christ?

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