Philippians 3

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.
Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

Unlike here in the USA dogs were not considered lovely pets. To be called a dog was an insult. Dogs were way down in the order of animals. It would be more like if someone was to call someone else a dirty dog. Here they are being compared to evil workers.

This is the marginal for the word concision from the Companion Bible:

"The Verb katattemno occ. in the Sept. of heathen mutilation. Lev. 21:5, 1 Kings 18:28. Paul regards the circumcision of the Judaizers as a mere ordinance, no better than a heathen one Cp. Romans 2:25-29, 1 Cor. 7:19, Gal.5:6,6:15"

1 Kings 18:27,28
27 At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” 28 So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed.

Romans 2:25 Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised.

Those two verses give the flavor of what Bullinger was talking about. Check the rest when you have some time.

Paul was trying very hard to get the people to understand that nothing good comes of the flesh or more accurately the works of men. Man can only try to clean up the outside, circumcision, water baptism, rules and regulations. We are not men and women of the flesh. We were born that way but then we found out about Jesus Christ and we became spiritual men and women. We are no longer the natural man (1 Cor. 2:14) but the new man (Eph. 2:15 4:24, 2 Cor 5:17 Col 3:10) created in Christ Jesus. 

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

I'm sure the heads of the temple would flip out if they heard Paul saying things of this nature. They put all their confidence in the flesh. They assumed that they were saved because they could trace their bloodlines all the way back to Abraham and they did a good job at saying they followed the law which of course no man ever did except Jesus. Paul is saying we have to have the circumcision of the heart (Romans 2:29)

In many ways we are still fighting this battle. People still want to ignore the spirit and live under the law. Water baptism is a prime example of this. I have heard some say that they want both water and spiritual baptism but look at Ephesians

Eph 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

Ephesians is right or wrong there is no in between.

Act 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

With the coming of the greater the lesser goes away. Even John the baptist knew that. Here is what John the Baptist said about Jesus's coming.

John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.

It is a lesson many believers still need to learn because they have been deceived just like Eve was. God gives us the truth about water baptism and how with baptism in or of holy spirit is now the order of today and what do people say? If it was good enough for Jesus it is good enough for me. That is a lie from the devil himself because our power lies in the baptism of holy spirit. That is where the manifestations are, that is where we have our proof that we have salvation. That is where the renewed mind starts. Never back down on this point. You don't have to go on and on but if someone starts up with you about water then take a stand and share the truth.

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:

So Paul is about to give us his credentials. 

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

He even sounds like a Pharisee at this point. Look at the beautiful word vs 7 starts with.

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

So when you gave up stuff because you were going to take a stand for God so did most everyone who became a Christian and took a stand. We had to give up the flesh and seeking it so we could seek God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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,
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:

Notice we are not to have our own righteousness (sometimes called self righteousness) but that which is by faith by Jesus Christ. 

Paul considered all that he left behind dung. Are you holding onto anything you should leave behind? To travel far and fast you need to travel light. The things that weigh us down need to be ejected. I am not just talking about physical things. Some of the most weighty things that slow us down are in the mental category. When God calls you his masterpiece what do you say about yourself? Many times it is far more important to get rid of this sort of thing more so than books or music or the other things people put so much emphasis on. Yes if you own a copy of the Tibetan book of the dead get rid of that for sure. Just remember also to do a check up from the neck up and get rid of your useless mental baggage as well.

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

AI mentioned a couple of weeks ago the power is in the resurrection of Christ. We were made conformable to his death and sufferings and we also became part of the power of the resurrection.

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

This is the interlinear of this verse notice says out of the dead

Remember if the lord tarries and we die we will be resurrected from the dead. Not all in this administration will die however so that is why it is not spoken of as a resurrection. (Some will just need to be changed.) Thus out from the dead they will no longer be dead.

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.

(NIV) 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

The word press means to pursue. We do not just follow after this goal but we press or pursue this goal we are working hard to get to this goal. We do not let small things get in our way we keep running towards this goal. We have not yet achieved perfection we keep following the trail and where it leads.

The word attained in the Greek is  lambanō which means to receive into manifestation or evidence.

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,

This is a major problem with people. They cannot let go of the past. There is a person I know who felt slighted by someone almost 40   years ago. All the person said was the other one was wrong about something. Instead of looking at what was said and examining the situation and seeing if maybe he needed to change he took it to I'm right and they better admit they were wrong! They have held onto this weight rather than letting go of it. 

We need to learn to let things go and not to let them weigh us down. Fast and far remember? Even if the  other person was dead wrong we are suppose to forgive. Either way you let it go. Mistakes should not control your life.

Some may argue that you have the right to be validated. Well I was validated over 2000 years ago when a man cried "It is finished" and then got up from the dead 3 days later. That is all the validation I need.

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

The word follow after in verse 12 and press here are the Greek word  diōkō which means to run swiftly in order to catch a person or thing, We run swiftly after the mark. The word mark is the word skopos which last week we discovered means the distant mark looked at or a goal in the distance. We see the mark down the road from where we are and we traveling towards that mark. We will get there sooner or later sooner I trust.

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.

Bullinger renders this verse like this:
15 Let us therefore, as many as be mature, have this minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal also this unto you

This is a better translation by far than perfect. The Greek word is teleios meaning:
 having reached its end, i.e. complete, by ext. perfect
Original Word: τέλειος, α, ον
Part of Speech: Adjective
Transliteration: teleios
Phonetic Spelling: (tel'-i-os)
Short Definition: perfect, full-grown
Definition: perfect, (a) complete in all its parts, (b) full grown, of full age, (c) specially of the completeness of Chris an example who was worthy to want to imitate stian character.

Here I believe it means full grown or mature instead of perfect because none of us is perfect in our actions.

16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

We are to mark and follow those who walk as Paul did. Paul was worthy of trying to imitate. He did have his moments like when he decided to go to Jerusalem but for the most part the man walked with God.

If you see someone who walks the word and keeps God first others second that is a worthy person to want to imitate as well. There are many who you can follow. Just look for those who not only  talk a good game but are willing to jump in and do what needs to be done.

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

Those are the ones to avoid.

Verse 18 is translated this way in the NLT:

For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ.

They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth.

The word destruction is not a great translation a better one would be ruin, loss, perishing; eternal ruin. We do know that the motivation was not love because it says of them that their God is their appetite. They boast about shameful things and their thoughts are centered on this life.

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

Back in Philippians 1:27 we are told "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ" this is from the same root word. It is talking again about our behavior. We strive towards the goal as it says a few verses ago. If we fall we just get up dust ourselves off and keep striving for that goal never allowing anything to detour us from where we are headed!

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.

The new body we will get the one that God had intended on us having. The one Jesus got in his resurrected form. The one 1 Thessalonians talks about the one we change into as it talks about in chapter 4 of 1 Thessalonians, and 1 Corinthians 15:44. It is what we look forward to putting off this current body that is corrupted and getting a spiritual one which will go on forever.

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