1To sum up: my dear friends, delight in the Lord! It’s not a burden for me to repeat these things to you—it’s to keep you safe! 2Watch out for the wolves, those who do evil, those who insist on physical circumcision— 3for it’s we who are truly circumcised, worshiping by the Spirit of God, placing our assurance in Christ Jesus. We have no confidence in human abilities#3:3. Literally, “flesh,” also in verse 4.— 4for if there was a way to rely on human nature then I myself could have that confidence! If anyone thinks they have confidence in such human things, then I outdo them: 5I was circumcised on the eighth day, I’m an Israelite of the tribe of Benjamin, a true Hebrew. Regarding legal observance I’m a Pharisee; 6as for religious dedication I was a persecutor of the church; while in regard to doing right according to the law I was blameless!
7But in whatever way such things gained me anything, I count them as a loss for Christ. 8Truly, I count everything as loss in exchange for the incredible benefit I’ve gained through knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I’ve thrown away all these things for him, and consider them trash, so that I might gain Christ. 9I want to be found in him, not being right because of what I’ve done, or what the law requires, but made right through confidence in Christ, set right by God through trusting in him. 10I want to really know him, and the power of his resurrection—to take part in his suffering and become like him in his death, 11so that somehow I might be part of the resurrection from the dead!
12Not that I’ve already got it all, or that I’m already perfect—but I run so that I might win what was won for me by Christ Jesus. 13My friends, I don’t consider that I’ve already won, but this is my one objective: disregarding what is behind me, I strain forward to what is in front of me. 14I run towards the finish line to win the prize of God’s invitation to heaven through Christ Jesus.
15Those of us who are spiritually mature should think like this, and if you think anything different, then God will reveal this to you. 16We just need to make sure that we follow what we already have understood. 17My friends, copy my example as others do and take note of the way to behave since you have us as a model.
18The way some people live makes them enemies of the cross of Christ—as I’ve often told you before and repeat again though it pains me so much I want to weep. 19They will end up being completely lost, these people whose “god” is their physical desires and who are proud of what they should be ashamed of, thinking only about the things of this world. 20But our homeland is heaven, and we’re waiting for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, to come from there too. 21He will re-create our defective human bodies so that they will be made like his glorious body using the power by which he brings everything under his control.