1Finally, my brothers, rejoice # Rm 12:12; 2Co 6:10; Php 1:18 in the Lord. To write to you again about this is no trouble for me and is a protection for you.
2Watch out for “dogs,” # An expression of contempt for the unclean, those outside the people of God watch out for evil # 2Co 13:7 workers, watch out for those who mutilate the flesh. 3For we are the circumcision, # Gl 6:15 the ones who serve by the Spirit # Rm 8:4; Gl 5:25; 1Tm 3:16 of God, boast in Christ Jesus, # Rm 16:7; Eph 2:6; Php 1:1,15; 1Pt 5:14 and do not put confidence in the flesh — 4although I once also had confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he has grounds for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5circumcised the eighth day; # Gn 17:12,25; 21:4; Lv 12:3; Lk 1:59; 2:21 of the nation of Israel, # Rm 9:6 of the tribe of Benjamin, # Ps 68:27 a Hebrew born of Hebrews; regarding the law, # Ac 5:34; 22:3; Gl 1:14; 5:4 a Pharisee; 6regarding zeal, # Rm 10:2 persecuting # Ac 22:2-5; 26:9-11; 1Co 15:9; Gl 1:13; 1Tm 1:13; 2Tm 3:12 the church; regarding the righteousness that is in the law, # Rm 3:21; 9:31; 10:4-5; Gl 2:21; 3:21 blameless. # Lk 1:6; Rm 7:9-10
7But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. 8More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value # Php 2:3 of knowing Christ # Jn 17:3; 2Co 4:6; Gl 4:8-9; Php 1:15; Col 2:2; 1Jn 4:8 Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ # 1Pt 3:1 9and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, # Rm 10:5 but one that is through faith in Christ # Or through the faithfulness of Christ — the righteousness from God based on faith. # Rm 3:22; 10:4; Gl 2:21; Heb 11:7 10My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, # Rm 8:17; 2Co 1:5-7; Col 1:24; 1Pt 4:13; 5:1,9 being conformed to His death, # Rm 6:5; 8:36; 2Co 4:7-12; 12:9-10; Gl 6:17 11assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead.
Reaching Forward to God’s Goal
12Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold # Jn 1:5; 12:35; Rm 9:30; 1Co 9:24; Eph 3:18 of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. 13Brothers, I do not # Other mss read not yet consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind # Lk 9:62; 17:31 and reaching forward to what is ahead, 14I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly # Or upward call in Christ Jesus. # Rm 16:7; Eph 2:6; Php 1:1,15; 1Pt 5:14 15Therefore, all who are mature should think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will reveal # Lk 10:21 this also to you. 16In any case, we should live up to whatever truth we have attained. 17Join in imitating me, brothers, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. 18For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross # Lk 23:26; 1Co 1:17; Gl 6:12 of Christ. 19Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory # Lk 14:10; Jn 5:41,44; 8:50,54; 12:43; Rm 9:4; 1Co 11:15; 2Co 6:8; 1Th 2:6 is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things, 20but our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious # 1Pt 5:4 body, # 1Co 6:13; 1Jn 3:2 by the power that enables Him to subject everything to Himself.