For to me (emoi gar). Fine example of the ethical dative. Paul gives his own view of living. To live is Christ (to zhn Cristo). No copula (estin), but to zhn (the act of living present active infinitive) is the subject as is shown by the article to. Living is coextensive with Christ. Gain (kerdo). Old word for any gain or profit, interest on money (so in papyri). In N.T. only here, Philippians 3:7 ; Titus 1:11 . To die (to apoqanein, second aorist active infinitive, single act) is to cash in both principal and interest and so to have more of Christ than when living. So Paul faces death with independence and calm courage.