Philippians, Chapter 3
© copyright 1997 Darroll Evans, all rights reserved
Philippians 3:1 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.
"Finally" is not the final finally. We will encounter another "finally."
Paul told the Philippians that he was going over material again.
He was covering ground that had already been covered.
That is not a bad thing.
Because, repetition is one of the best learning tools, this was not grievous, tedious or troublesome.
Indeed it was for their conformation in the
Philippians 3:2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.
“Dogs” was a derogatory name used by Jews to describe Gentiles.
Dogs are ceremonially unclean.
As children of God, we are cleansed by the righteousness of Christ.
“Concision” refers to those who mutilate themselves to attempt to become holy.
That is in contrast to the true circumcision of the hearts of those in Christ.
In case you do not know, ritual circumcision does not make you holy.
28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
We are the children of Promise!
Galatians 4:28---“Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.”
The promise is not based on a covenant!
It is based on a PROMISE!
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
That is the promise.
The covenant would not be instituted until many years after the promise(Genesis—chapter 15).
Are you blessed in Christ according to the covenant, or the promise?
Philippians 3:4 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:
"Confidence in the flesh" is confidence in human abilities and power.
It is fading at best.
If you trust in your physical ability to run, another will soon be faster.
If you trust in your ability to sing, age will take it.
If you trust in your physical strength, it will, one day, prove untrustworthy.
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.
This is Paul’s ancestral pedigree.
Paul had it all!
He had the name, and education.
Paul was tapped for success within the Jewish religious community.
He was an upwardly mobile, super-achiever.
When they chose up sides at recess---Paul was a team captain.
He was a choosor, not a choosee!
Philippians 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
Paul thought such things were a detriment to the cause of Christ.
Philippians 3:8 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,
To Paul all such was a loss when compared to the Knowledge of Christ Jesus.
In this matter, Paul was explicit.
Christ Jesus was his Lord (Gr. kuriou-kuriou)!
That Greek word indicates ownership.
Jesus Christ paid the full and complete price
for you on the cross at
We are His "purchased possession" (Ephesians 1:14).
Philippians 3:9 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:
Being His, we are found in Him.
Our faith is not "our faith," it is “of” or from Christ (Galatians 2:16).
We believe in Christ through the faith of Christ imparted to us.
And, the righteousness that sustains us is from God.
Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
When people tell us to pick up our cross and follow Jesus, many think of it as a metaphor.
We shall experience the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings.
This has nothing to do with us suffering for Christ!
If we are baptized into His body, we are also baptized into the suffering He experienced, and if we are baptized into the sufferings Christ experienced, we are in “the fellowship of His sufferings”!
However, we do not go through any suffering “for” Him! Instead, He suffered for us!
That is the inheritance of the saints in Christ.
Philippians 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Some folks read this verse and think that they can sneak in through a window.
Let me vent a bit---that is the stupidest theology that has ever been though up by man!
You either walk in through the open door, Christ Jesus, or you will not get in!
I have heard songs and sermons about getting into heaven many ways.
Some sing that we should get to heaven through windows, or under the door.
Those who say that are scripturally wrong!
If any preacher teaches that we can get into God’s throne room, and the marriage supper of the Lamb by any means other than the Door.
He or She is a Liar!
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,
Some believe that they are already perfect, or complete.
Paul was not one of them.
We may be mature in Christ, but our completion comes in the resurrection at His coming.
Completeness and maturity are separate issues!
Christians are immediately complete in Christ, but maturity takes time!
Verse thirteen is a reinforcement of verse twelve.
There is some very good advice here.
"Forgetting those things which are behind."
Forget what is behind. Don’t dredge up past sins and meditate on them.
God forgave those sins, and so should you.
Philippians 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Are you working for salvation or rewards?
If you are working for salvation, boy, are you in for a surprise?
Salvation is by grace through faith (period).
On the other hand there are rewards for good works.
Ephesians 2:10---“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Rewards are separate from salvation.
Many speak of rewards and salvation as synonymous.
They are not.
Philippians 3:15 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.
In this verse, "perfect" speaks of a mature moral character.
Paul says that if you are mature, God will reveal this truth to you.
Philippians 3:16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
Operate on the level you have attained.
Don’t get ahead of yourself.
Every teenager thinks he/she knows it all.
Many spiritual teenage Christians assume they know more than they do.
Chronological age and spiritual maturity do not walk hand in hand. One year repeated 20 times is not twenty years experience.
Philippians 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
Paul called on the Philippians to observe those of His band, and Use them as examples.
Philippians 3:18 (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:
Some who seem to be Christ’s actually turn out to be enemies of the cross.
Pretenders can temporarily fool us.
Philippians 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
If the men you follow tell you that they want you to give "them" everything you have so you will gain a blessing, you know that they are false.
Not many years ago, one "evangelist" was selling miracles at $25 for four miracles.
That is a great bargain---or, is it?
Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
“Conversation” speaks of citizenship.
Our citizenship is in heaven.
We are on earth working on a provisional green card.
Keep looking up!
Christ shall return from heaven as He went into heaven.
Philippians 3:21 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.
At His return, we shall be changed to reflect His glorious body.
The gathering of the saints is not the end.
There shall be a period of rebellion at the end the millennium of peace.
That will end with a great battle.
Then, comes the great White Throne Judgment for those that have not acknowledged Jesus as Lord. Later, Christ Jesus shall bow to the Father and He, the Father, shall become all in all (1 Corinthians 15:28).