1:22 {7} But if I live in the {n} flesh, this [is] the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.

(7) An example of a true shepherd, who considers more how he may profit his sheep, than he considers any benefit of his own whatsoever.

(n) To live in this mortal body.

1:22 But if I live in the flesh. In the body, i.e. on earth.

This [is] the fruit of my labour. In this state the fruit of his labor is Christ. See Php 1:21.

Yet what I shall choose I wot not. He can hardly tell whether he would choose the gain of death, or to continue to live in order that he may work for Christ.

1:22 Here he begins to treat of the former clause of the preceding verse . Of the latter he treats, Php 2:17. But if I am to live is the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour - This is the fruit of my living longer, that I can labour more. Glorious labour! desirable fruit! in this view, long life is indeed a blessing. And what I should choose I know not - That is, if it were left to my choice.

1:21-26 Death is a great loss to a carnal, worldly man, for he loses all his earthly comforts and all his hopes; but to a true believer it is gain, for it is the end of all his weakness and misery. It delivers him from all the evils of life, and brings him to possess the chief good. The apostle's difficulty was not between living in this world and living in heaven; between these two there is no comparison; but between serving Christ in this world and enjoying him in another. Not between two evil things, but between two good things; living to Christ and being with him. See the power of faith and of Divine grace; it can make us willing to die. In this world we are compassed with sin; but when with Christ, we shall escape sin and temptation, sorrow and death, for ever. But those who have most reason to desire to depart, should be willing to remain in the world as long as God has any work for them to do. And the more unexpected mercies are before they come, the more of God will be seen in them.