Philippians Chapter 3

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THIS chapter consists, in the main, of exhortations to holy living, and to an effort to make great attainments in the divine life. It is full of tenderness and affection, and is one of the most beautiful appeals which can anywhere be found to induce Christians to devote themselves to the service of the Redeemer. The appeal is drawn in a great measure from the apostle's statement of his own feelings, and is one which the Philippians could not but feel, for they knew him well. In the course of the chapter, he adverts to the following points: --

He exhorts them to rejoice in the Lord, Phil 3:1.

He warns them against the Jewish teachers who urged the necessity of complying with the Mosaic laws, and who appear to have boasted of their being Jews, and to have regarded themselves as the favourites of God on that account, Phil 3:2, Phil 3:3.

To meet what they had said, and to show how little all that on which they relied was to be valued, Paul says that he had had advantages of birth and education which surpassed them all, and that all the claim to the favour of God, and all the hope of salvation which could be derived from birth, education, and a life of zeal and conformity to the law, had been his, Phil 3:4ff.

Yet, he says, he had renounced all this, and now regarded it as utterly worthless in the matter of salvation. He had cheerfully suffered the loss of all things, and was willing still to do it, if he might obtain salvation through the Redeemer. Christ was more to him than all the advantages of birth, and rank, and blood; and all other grounds of dependence for salvation, compared with reliance on him, were worthless, Phil 2:7ff.

The object which he had sought in doing this, he says, he had not yet fully attained. He had seen enough to know its inestimable value, and he now pressed onward that he might secure all that he desired. The mark was before him, and he pressed on to secure the prize, Phil 3:12ff.

He exhorts them to aim at the same thing, and to endeavour to secure the same object, assuring them that God was ready to disclose to them all that they desired to know, and to grant all that they wished to obtain, Phil 3:15, Phil 3:16.

This whole exhortation he enforces in the end of the chapter Phil 3:17ff by two considerations. One was, that there were not a few who had been deceived and who had no true religion -- whom he had often warned with tears, Phil 3:18, Phil 3:19; the other was, that the home, the citizenship of the true Christian, was in heaven, and they who were Christians ought to live as those Who expected soon to be there. The Saviour would soon return to take them to glory. He would change their vile body, and make them like himself, and they should therefore live as became those who had a hope so blessed and transforming.


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. edit

2: Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. edit

3: For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. edit

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: edit

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; edit

6: Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. edit

7: But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. edit

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, edit

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: edit

10: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; edit

11: If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. edit

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. edit

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, edit

14: I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. edit

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. edit

16: Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. edit

17: Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. edit

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: edit

19: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) edit

20: For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: edit

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. edit

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