Today’s interview is with Matt Chandler, coauthor of The Explicit Gospel and author of the new book To Live Is Christ, To Die Is Gain. To help kick-start The Gospel Tour, featuring Chandler and Tullian Tchividjian, we’ve partnered with David C. Cook to give away Logos 5 Silver, an iPad mini, a Logos edition of Chandler’s new book, and a Vyrso edition of Tchividjian’s new book (One Way Love). Enter to win by November 14!
1. What inspired you to write your new book, To Live Is Christ, To Die Is Gain?
After I converted to Christianity, my development was built upon following a moral code. I did some of it well, but struggled in other areas, which saturated my heart with guilt rather than conviction, and filled my life with shame rather than delight. The Holy Spirit used Philippians to awaken my heart and fill my life with the things that made me marvel at God’s goodness and grace.
2. To Live Is Christ confronts the issue of spiritual development—what’s your best piece of advice for becoming a mature Christian? What do you envision a “mature Christian” to be?
I believe the Bible teaches that if you fill your life with the things that stir your affections for Jesus and avoid the things that rob your affections, while simultaneously seeking to put your sin to death, you’ll mature in a more visible and manifest way.
3. Your book is grounded in Paul’s letter to the Philippians. How can Paul’s story help modern-day Christians grow in their faith?
The story we read about in Philippians is our story. We were rescued by Christ, have a tendency to wander, and are helped and held by our redeemer. The implications of that shape everything else in our lives, from relationships to money.
4. Philippians 1 says: “to live is Christ, and to die is gain”—why did you name your book after this verse? What special meaning does it hold for you?
I think everyone assumes that the title is tied to my battle with brain cancer, but it’s not. I think that that simple line encompasses almost everything I want: to have my life, family, and church shaped by, led by, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Meaning, we put Jesus at the focus of our lives and rejoice in the reality that death is dead.
5. What’s one thing you hope people walk away with from this book?
I want people walking away with hope—that the God who saved them has every intention of sanctifying them. It might not feel like a six-lane superhighway, but God is at work. Trust him, press into him; he cares for you.
6. How did the idea of The Gospel Tour get started?
We (Tullian, David C. Cook, and Doug Hudson) began talking about what it might look like to try and encourage men and women with a night full of gospel goodness. My hope for the tour is my same hope for the book: to encourage the saints and be used by God as a conduit of hope in the journey toward Christlikeness.