Philippians 3

Beware; avoid confidence in the flesh  3
I could feel secure in the flesh circumcised on the 8th day  4
But all this is nothing; righteousness in knowing Christ  8
I press on toward the goal; let us live by the standard  13
Many have appetite as their god; our citizenship is in heaven; new bodies  17
.1 ¶ Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.
 2  Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.
 3  For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
  1 - Same things Identification of the "things" is uncertain.
  2 - Beware of dogs Or "Look out for the dogs." The definite article indicates a particular group. The animals were generally allowed to run loose. They are unclean le1101-7. The word indicates contempt 1sa1743, 2ki0813. Jews called Gentiles dogs mt0706 and Gentiles considered the Jews as dogs.
  3 - The circumcision Should read "circumcised ones." That is, Christians who do not depend on the flesh are those who have the blessing of circumcision although not necessarily literally circumcised. Compare Paul's other statements See ro0225-29, co0211, ep0208.
.4 ¶ Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
 5  Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
 6  Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
 7  But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
  4 - I might also have Rather, "I have also." He has the experience of circumcision in addition to the blessing of Christ.
  5 - Pharisee This was his choice.
  6 - Zeal He was an eager Pharisee persecuting the Christians before He met Christ ac0801, ac0901, ac2204, ac26:10,11.
  7 - Gain ... loss We can easily see from the preceding verses how Saul (Paul) made the right choice, but do we have a similar list of things we trust that we need to lay aside? Even the religious ideas we hold need to be placed before the Lord as we pray for wisdom and study the word. He will guide us as we trust him fully. We don't want to lay aside things that are true and important.
.8  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
.9 ¶ And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
.10  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
 11  If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
.12  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
  9 - Found We want Him to find us (judgment) with righteousness 2pe0314.
  10 - Know him Knowing Christ requires righteousness v9.
  10 - Fellowship Suffering for following Christ is what will develop our bond of eternal friendship with Him.
  11 - Resurrection What was Paul's objective? The concept of going to heaven at death is foreign to the Scriptures.
.13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended ["taken hold of it" NIV]: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
 14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
.15 ¶ Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
 16  Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
  The passage, beginning at v12 or so, is worthy of study. We may be perfect v15 walking by the light we have v16 and yet continually press forward to be more like Christ. This is a saving relationship with Him. As we follow Christ in complete commitment, The Holy Spirit will give us the improved understanding. Consider 1co1555.
.17 ¶ Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
.18  (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
.19  Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
.20  For our conversation [communion] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
.21  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
  17 - Followers ... ensample But Christ, not Paul, is our example. The point here is that others need to see Christ in us to give them the idea that they, too, may walk in His steps 2co0302, 2co0318.
  19 - Whose god Our senses tend to call for satisfaction. When they learn to crave the things that destroy our bodies, they replace our loyalty to God. Many who try to follow Christ, will be lost because they have not said no to these vices. Cutting down on a habit like the use of alcohol does not work. This means a pledge to God, pray for His strength without which we will fail, and a lifestyle change, never turning back ro1201, 1co1031, 1jo0302.
  21 - Change ... body God will give us perfect bodies at the coming of Christ 1co1553. This does not mean He changes our characters. They must be patterned after the behavior of heaven now v20, v9. Notice that Christ will "subdue." This includes His work in us.
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I intended this picture to illustrate verse 19 but her problem may not have been eating too many carrots.
Image © Corel