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.
Paul writes the same warnings to them and to us, that he repeatedly writes for our benefit throughout his epistles.
3:2 Beware of dogs [wolves (Mat 7:15), false shepherds], beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.
Watch out for unclean, unholy, idols of men, wolves in sheep’s clothing; who, though clever words deceive us away from any zeal for God to follow themselves, in order to devour us like vicious dogs, as Isaiah warned would be the case of the spiritual leaders and elders in the last days.
Isaiah 56:10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs [bad sheep dogs, foolish shepherds], they cannot bark [give warning]; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber [spiritually sleeping]. 56:11 Yea, they are greedy dogs [bad selfish shepherd dogs, ravaging the flock instead of shepherding it] which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.
The faithful called out are circumcised in heart; they are diligent for God and prove the words of men by the whole Word of God, trusting and having full confidence in God.
Philippians 3:3 For we are the [spiritual] circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
Paul then provides the credentials of his physical heritage and remarks that they are as nothing and were given up by Paul for Jesus Christ and the spiritual New Covenant of faith and the works of faith, which is full Christ-like obedience to God the Father in letter and in spirit.
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: 3:5 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; 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
The things that were to Paul’s advantage in the flesh; he cast aside as insignificant to embrace the gospel of salvation through sincere repentance, the rejection of all sin, the application of the sacrifice of Christ and diligently living by every Word of God.
Believing and full of faith in the sinless life of Jesus Christ the Lamb of God and his resurrection to spirit by God the Father; and full of faith that God the Father will also raise up all those who love him and passionately keep his Word, as Jesus Christ kept God the Father’s Word for our example.
3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 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,
Righteousness does not come by the law, for all have sinned and no amount of future law keeping can atone for PAST sin! ONLY the sacrifice of Christ, which is only applied to the sincerely repentant who STOP sinning, can atone for PAST sin!
It is by our faith and the works of faith in the promises of God that we can STOP sinning and be reconciled to God the Father; and it is only by internalizing the whole Word of God [through studying and keeping it] that we may become holy as God is holy and righteous as God is righteous!
We must believe God and sincerely repent of sin to obey the Word of God, that we may truly know God. Only when we have destroyed the old sinful man, and become a new person in God; through believing and living by every Word of God, can we be in the resurrection to spirit.
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: 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; 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
We must not think that we have attained to godliness, but we are to continually grow in faith and knowledge striving to root out all sin and striving to grow into the holiness and perfection of God the Father as defined by the Word and Will of God.
3:12 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.
We must also continually seek out growth in our understanding of the Word of God, and not reject the truth as most of the Ekklesia do today.
3:13 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, 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
3:15 Let us therefore, as many as [desire to be] be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
If we are sincerely in error and desiring to be corrected, God’s Spirit will lead us into all truth, if we follow it and diligently study all things to live by every Word of God.
Let us be like-minded to live by this rule: that we will be faithful to live by every Word of God and to God alone; and will follow men ONLY as they faithfully follow the whole Word of God; rejecting, taking note of and avoiding all deceitful men.
3:16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
For very many false teachers have crept into [of which we have had many warnings from the scriptures] today’s Ekklesia, leading people astray from their zeal for God into a zeal for idols of men.
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 [enemies of the salvation of God by refusing to live by every Word of God] of Christ: 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
3:20 For our conversation [our conduct should be of heaven and according to every Word of God] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
If we are diligent to faithfully destroy the old sinful person and to become a new person in Christ now; then in that day we shall be changed to a glorious spiritual being in the resurrection to spirit.
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.
Paul concludes his letter to the Philippians by admonishing them to be of one mind with Christ, who is of one mind with God the Father.
Brethren, all this talk and desire to be united organizationally is a deceit and distraction from the unity with God the Father and Jesus Christ that we were called to. It is time for us to wake up to the fact that we are called to be united with and to become like Jesus Christ and God the Father!
Philippians 4:1 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
4:2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. 4:3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.
You see that even Paul was helped by female laborers in the Gospel. Paul tells us to rejoice in the whole Word of God; which is the Gospel which defines the nature of God and reveals the way to salvation from sin to eternal life.
4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
Be valiantly zealous for the whole Word of God, and be moderate in the things of the flesh.
4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Do not be full of cares and concerns for worldly things, only make your needs known to God our Father who provides for our spiritual growth and salvation. Be passionate to follow our Mighty Deliverer to learn and to zealously live by every Word of God, to please God our Father and to be at peace with God always.
4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Cause our minds to dwell on positive things and to meditate day and night on the Word of God; and avoid dwelling on negative, sinful, and evil things.
4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Be ye doers of the Word; for if we marry the works of faith to our faith [belief], then we shall be one in unity with God and God will be one with us.
4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me [Paul’s preaching], do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Paul now rejoices having realized that they had neglected him in the past because of lack of opportunity, and are now helping him.
Philippians 4:10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful [concerned], but ye lacked opportunity.
Paul has learned to be content with what he has and not to burn with desire for physical things; placing all physical things aside for joy to preach the gospel of salvation to all people.
4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 4:12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed [I have learned] both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
Paul thanks the Philippians who had evidently communicated with him when they had learned of his need.
4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 4:14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.
It was often the Philippians only, which sent to Paul for his needs in many places.
4:15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. 4:16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.
Paul delights in the gifts that the Philippians have sent him, but delights even more that they are full of love and care for him and for what he has preached to them.
4:17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. 4:18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.
Paul then prays that God will supply all of their needs, as they have supplied his needs; and Paul glorifies God the Father.
4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 4:20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Paul salutes every person who is in Christ, who are full of faithful Christ-like service to God the Father.
4:21 Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you.
The letter to the Philippians written from Rome includes greetings from all the saints at Rome to all the saints at Philippi; and indicates that there were saints even in the household of the emperor himself!
4:22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household.
4:23 The grace [May the mercy of Christ be poured out on all the sincerely repentant who are passionate to live by every Word of God!] of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.