Paul offers a variety of warnings for people in Philippians Chapter 3 that are designed to help them improve their walk with Christ rather than their fleshly desires.
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Paul Warns against False Teachers
Paul cautioned the Philippians in Chapter 3 to be aware of false teachers who he described as evil workers and dogs. He said they wanted to circumcise everybody, which Paul said was unnecessary.
He said people should practice the true circumcision, which is the one in which they worship God in spirit, rejoice in Christ, and have no confidence in their own flesh. Paul said his earlier confidence in the flesh had so many grounds, including a list of things attributed to it of which he could have boasted about.
Paul’s Desire for Christ
Paul expressed his desire in Philippians Chapter 3 to know Christ by reiterating that He counted all as a loss for the value of knowing Him. He stressed that his supreme goal was to have righteousness, which only comes through faith in Jesus. He also said he wanted to know the power of His resurrection and to share His sufferings, even in His death.
Pressing Towards a Goal
Paul’s attitude toward pressing on to a goal is humble in that he does not consider himself perfect. He said that it was wise for him to forget things that are behind and reach forward for the prize that lies ahead, which is a divine call of God through His son, Jesus Christ. Paul also stressed the need for those who were mature to have the same mind and follow his example.
Paul Expresses His Sadness
With tears, Paul sends a warning to those who do not walk properly by setting their minds on earthly things and making greed their god. He reminded the church at Philippi that a Christian’s true citizenship is in heaven, not on earth. As matter of fact, Paul said, Jesus Christ will transform our bodies to conform to His glorious body upon His second coming.
Philippians 3 (King James Version)
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.
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.
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.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: 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.
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 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.