January 24, 2006
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same
things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.
Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh.
For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worshiped by the Spirit of God, who glory
in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh – though I myself have reasons for
If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more:
circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew
of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for
legalistic righteousness, faultless.
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is
more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing
Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I
may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes
from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes
from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the
fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow,
to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
3:7-11 – Throughout the passage, Paul uses “loss” and “gain” and other synonyms
for those words to show how amazing an effect Christ has had on his life. He also
uses them to show how opposite life is without Christ in his life.
3:10-11 – “and” – Paul has a list of things he still wants to accomplish in his
spiritual life, showing that he is by no means perfect which early churches could
have thought of him.
3:8 – “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of
knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things” – What I
believe is the main topic of this passage. He wants to get across that they should
avoid being like the heathens and false witnesses so they can have the best thing
there is to have in life, because it follows through into death unlike anything else
that Paul “counts as loss” and “rubbish.”
3:7 – “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss” – he considered his life
profitable before “now” when he accepted Christ.