OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To see the error of placing confidence in fleshly accomplishments 2) To understand the need to strive toward perfection in our desire to know and serve Christ 3) To be reminded of our true citizenship in heaven SUMMARY In this chapter we find a warning against those who place great confidence in the flesh (1-3). If anyone had reason to boast about fleshly accomplishments, it was Paul with his Jewish heritage (4-6). But all such things were considered rubbish in relation to the excellence of knowing Christ Jesus (7-8). Therefore Paul had as his goal to be found in Christ, having that righteousness which is by faith in Jesus, knowing Him and the power of His resurrection, and even sharing in His sufferings, that he might by any means attain to the resurrection from the dead (9-11). Paul then describes his attitude of pressing on, and encourages all to follow his example and that of others who walk likewise (12-17). Such an exhortation is necessary in view of the reality that there are many people who are enemies of the cross of Christ, who have made their fleshly appetites the focus of their minds, and indeed their god (18-19). Christians, however, should remember that their true citizenship is in heaven, from which we eagerly wait for Jesus Christ who will transform our lowly bodies to be conformed to His glorious body (20-21). OUTLINE I. WARNINGS AGAINST JUDAISM (1-11) A. BEWARE OF THE JUDAIZERS (1-3) 1. Rejoice in the Lord! (1) 2. Beware of "dogs", evil workers, the false circumcision (2) 3. For the true circumcision are those who... a. Worship God in the Spirit b. Rejoice in Christ c. Have no confidence in the flesh (3) B. PAUL'S EARLIER CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH (4-6) 1. Paul had many grounds for boasting in the flesh (4) 2. A list of things pertaining to the flesh in which he could have boasted (5-6) C. PAUL'S DESIRE TO KNOW CHRIST (7-11) 1. He counted all as loss for the surpassing value of knowing Christ (7-8) 2. He supreme goal: a. To have that righteousness which comes through faith in Christ (9) b. To know Christ and the power of His resurrection (10a) c. To share in His sufferings, even in His death, that by any means he might attain to the resurrection from the dead (10b-11) II. WARNINGS AGAINST ANTINOMIANISM (12-21) A. PAUL'S ATTITUDE OF PRESSING ON (12-14) 1. He does not consider himself perfect, so he presses on (12) 2. He forgets those things which are behind, and reaches forward to what lies ahead (13) 3. His goal is the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (14) B. AN EXHORTATION FOR THEM TO HAVE THE SAME MIND (15-17) 1. Let those who are mature have the same mind (15) 2. To the degree you have already attained, so live (16) 3. Follow the example set by Paul and others, who live this way (17) C. A WARNING AGAINST THE ENEMIES OF THE CROSS (18-19) 1. With tears, Paul warns them of those who do not walk properly (18) 2. Such people set their minds on earthly things, making their belly their god (19) D. A REMINDER OF OUR TRUE CITIZENSHIP (20-21) 1. Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we eagerly wait for Jesus (20) 2. Who when He comes will transform our lowly body to conform to His glorious body (21) REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER 1) What are the main points of this chapter? - Warnings against Judaism (1-11) - Warnings against antinomianism (12-21) 2) Who does Paul warn against? (2) - Dogs, evil workers, the "mutilation" (false circumcision); i.e., Judaizers, those who would impose circumcision and the keeping of the Law of Moses on Gentile Christians (cf. Ac 15:1-6) 3) What characterizes those who are the true circumcision? (3) - They worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh 4) What sort of things could Paul have boasted pertaining to the flesh? (4-6) - Circumcised the eighth day - Of the stock of Israel - Of the tribe of Benjamin - A Hebrew of the Hebrews - Concerning the Law, a Pharisee - Concerning zeal, persecuting the church - Concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless 5) How did Paul view these fleshly things? (7-8) - As loss, as rubbish, in contrast to the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus 6) What was Paul's earnest desire? (9-11) - To be found in Christ - To have the righteousness that comes through faith in Him - To know Him and the power of His resurrection - To know the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death - To attain to the resurrection from the dead 7) Did Paul view himself as having already attained, or having been perfected? (12) - No 8) According to Paul, what was the "one thing" he did? (13-14) - Forgetting those things which are behind, reaching forward to those things ahead, he pressed toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus 9) What is the attitude, or mind, of those who are "mature"? (15) - The attitude Paul had, of pressing on 10) How should the Christian walk? (16) - To the degree or rule that they have attained 11) Whose example were the Philippians to follow? (17) - Paul's, and those whose "walk" was similar to his 12) What description is given of those who are "enemies of the cross of Christ"? (18-19) - Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, their glory is in their shame, and they set their minds on earthly things 13) Where is our citizenship? (20) - In heaven 14) What will Christ do when He comes again? (21) - Transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body
All for Christ
[Phl 3:1-21 NKJV] 1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you [is] not tedious, but for you [it is] safe. 2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, 4 though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, [of] the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which [is] from the law, but that which [is] through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Pressing toward the goal
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to [the degree] that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.
Our citizenship in Heaven
17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 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 set their mind on earthly things. 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.