Why has the Spirit of God inspired Paul to “think out loud” here? What’s he doing? Why give them his conundrum? Because Paul is modeling for us here. Consider Philippians 1:9-11. This is Paul’s prayer for the church at Philippi. He is praying that they’ll have a grounded love so that they will choose what is excellent and so live in such a way that they won’t be ashamed when they stand before Christ.
It’s always a bit troublesome to me whenever I see something in a text that others aren’t seeing. That’s usually how heretics are made. But I’m absolutely convinced that what I’m seeing in Philippians 1:19-26 is completely orthodox and more importantly it’s there in the text.
This isn’t a major point but I think it helps us to understand more the meaning of what Paul is doing here in the text. When most people preach/teach on Philippians 1:19-26 the emphasis is on Paul’s conundrum and his very quotable statement, “for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” That’s incredibly easy to preach. Can you say that for you to live “is Christ” and can you say that if you died today it would be “gain”. That’s the sermon—tie a bow on it, give some response time and call it a day.