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FRAMEWORKS: Paul's letter to the Philippians

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FRAMEWORKS: Philippians 3

v.1-14 No Confidence in the Flesh

v.15-21 Following Paul's Outlook & Example

[Chapter 3 Synopsis: Beware the circumcision party who put their trust in circumcision, not the Cross. Their relationship with God is unreal, whereas we have given up everything in order to know God and be known by Him. May you be able to see this, understand this and follow my example.]



v.1-14 No Confidence in the Flesh

[Passage Synopsis: Beware the circumcision party, we are those truly related to God, not by our merits, although I could certainly boast about such things if need be. No, I just want to know Christ and his righteousness, sharing in his power and resurrection. I'm just a ‘work in progress' but I am pressing on to receive all he has for me.]


v.1 (It's good that I can say the same things to you) Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.

v.2 (beware the circumcision party) Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh.

v.3-6 (for we're the real Jews in Christ, serving by the Spirit not by confidence in the flesh – but actually with my background I could do that) For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.

v.7 (but whatever benefits those things might be, I count them as nothing for the sake of Christ) But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.

v.8,9 (indeed I consider them all lost in order to know him and the righteousness he conveys to me through faith) + What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. + I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

v.10,11 (I want to know him and the power of his resurrection, more than anything else) I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

v.12 (I've still got this in my sights as my goal and press on for it) Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

v.13 (I've yet to get there but I put the past aside and go for what is yet to come) Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,

v.14 (yes, I press on for God's goal for me) + I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. +


v.15-21 Following Paul's Outlook & Example

[Passage Synopsis: I hope you will agree with this outlook, able to take me as your example, not being like some who, in reality, reject the Cross and will be destroyed. We look toward our home, heaven, when Christ will return and ultimately transform us for ever.]


v.15 (as you grow in Christ, may you have this same outlook) All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.

v.16 (let's go with what we've received so far) Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

v.17 (use us as an example) Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.

v.18 (because the trouble is many others reject the Cross) For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.

v.19 (but their end will be destruction, living in accord with fleshly desires) Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.

v.20,21 (but us – our home is in heaven and we eagerly await Jesus' coming who will transform us into his glory) But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.



Continue to Chapter 4