These pages represent some of my wrestling with various texts.
User since 2012
Jonathon's published pages
Paul moves from a prayer of praise (1:3–14) to a prayer of thanksgiving and petition.
Ephesians 1:15-23
Gospel Advance: The Central Concern of Paul's Life
Philippians 1:12–18
Paul's deep affection for the Philippians and his prayer that their affections abound
Philippians 1:7–11
God finishes what he begins in you and in us.
Philippians 1:3–6
God begins a good work in us individually and in us as his people.
Philippians 1:6
Fellow partners in the work of the gospel are gifts. When we remember gospel-gifts, we praise (i.e. thank) the Giver.
Philippians 1:3–5
In Christ Jesus we are both servants and saints. That is, we are consecrated to our Master, Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:1-2
God preserves his people and accomplishes his purposes through them.
Acts 28:1-6
Galatians 2:15-21
Main point summary. Arc.
James 1:2-4
Psalms 1:1-6
Deuteronomy 2:26-31
Romans 9:30-10:4
Romans 9:24-29
Romans 9:6-13
Ephesians 4:17-32
Ephesians 6:1-9
Ephesians 1
Ephesians 6:21-24
Eph 6:10-20
Ephesians 6:10-20
Eph 5:22-33
Ephesians 5:22-33
Eph 5:15-21
Ephesians 5:15-21
Eph 5:3-14
Ephesians 5:3-14
Eph 4:25-5:2
Ephesians 4:25-5:2
Ephesians 4:17-24
Ephesians 4:17-24
Questions: 1.
Eph 4:1-16
Ephesians 4:1-16
Questions: 1.
Eph 3:14-21
Questions: 1.
Ephesians 3:14-21
Question 1 :   The eternal plan/purpose that God made with/in Christ of vs.
Ephesians 3:1-13
Ephesians 3:1-13
Eph 2:11-22
Ephesians 2:11-22
Theological Questions 1.
Ephesians 2:1-10
Ephesians 1:15-23
Philippians 3:8-10
Ephesians 1:15-23
Ephesians 1:3-14
view all (45 total)
Philippians 1:1-4:23
Look away from yourself. Look to Jesus.
Published August 19th, 2017
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Philippians 3:1-11
Τὸ λοιπόν, ἀδελφοί μου, χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ. τὰ αὐτὰ γράφειν ὑμῖν ἐμοὶ μὲν οὐκ ὀκνηρόν, ὑμῖν δὲ ἀσφαλές.
Finally, my brothers, 1 k rejoice in the Lord. l To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is [a safeguard] for you.
Βλέπετε τοὺς κύνας, βλέπετε τοὺς κακοὺς ἐργάτας, βλέπετε τὴν κατατομήν.
Look out for m the dogs, look out for n the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.
ἡμεῖς γάρ ἐσμεν ἡ περιτομή,
For o we are the circumcision , [cf. Romans 2:29)
οἱ πνεύματι θεοῦ λατρεύοντες
p who worship q by the Spirit of God 1
καὶ καυχώμενοι ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ
and r glory in Christ Jesus
καὶ οὐκ ἐν σαρκὶ πεποιθότες,
and put no confidence in the flesh —
καίπερ ἐγὼ ἔχων πεποίθησιν καὶ ἐν σαρκί. Εἴ τις δοκεῖ ἄλλος πεποιθέναι ἐν σαρκί, ἐγὼ μᾶλλον•
s though [2 Cor 11:18] I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more:
περιτομῇ ὀκταήμερος,
t circumcised on the eighth day,
ἐκ γένους Ἰσραήλ,
u of the people of Israel,
φυλῆς Βενιαμίν,
v of the tribe of Benjamin,
Ἑβραῖος ἐξ Ἑβραίων,
u a Hebrew of Hebrews;
κατὰ νόμον Φαρισαῖος,
as to the law, w a Pharisee;
κατὰ ζῆλος διώκων τὴν ἐκκλησίαν ,
x as to zeal, y a persecutor of the church;
κατὰ δικαιοσύνην τὴν ἐν νόμῳ γενόμενος ἄμεμπτος.
z as to righteousness under the law, 1 blameless.
[Ἀλλʼ] ἅτινα ἦν μοι κέρδη, ταῦτα ἥγημαι διὰ [ dia = because of] τὸν Χριστὸν ζημίαν.
But a whatever gain I had, b I counted as loss for the sake [because] of Christ.
ἀλλὰ μενοῦνγε καὶ ἡγοῦμαι πάντα ζημίαν εἶναι διὰ τὸ ὑπερέχον τῆς γνώσεως Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ κυρίου μου,
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of c the surpassing worth of d knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
διʼ ὃν τὰ πάντα ἐζημιώθην, καὶ ἡγοῦμαι σκύβαλα,
For his sake [Because of him] I e have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish,
ἵνα Χριστὸν κερδήσω καὶ εὑρεθῶ ἐν αὐτῷ,
in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him ,
μὴ ἔχων ἐμὴν δικαιοσύνην τὴν ἐκ νόμου
not having f a righteousness of my own that comes from the law,
ἀλλὰ τὴν διὰ πίστεως Χριστοῦ,
but g that which comes through faith in Christ,
τὴν ἐκ θεοῦ δικαιοσύνην ἐπὶ τῇ πίστει,
the righteousness from God that depends on faith — JUSTIFICATION
τοῦ γνῶναι αὐτὸν καὶ τὴν δύναμιν τῆς ἀναστάσεως αὐτοῦ καὶ [τὴν] κοινωνίαν [τῶν] παθημάτων αὐτοῦ, συμμορφιζόμενος τῷ θανάτῳ αὐτοῦ,
h that I may know him and i the power of his resurrection, and j may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, SANCTIFICATION
εἴ πως καταντήσω εἰς τὴν ἐξανάστασιν τὴν ἐκ νεκρῶν.
that by any means possible I may k attain the resurrection from the dead. GLORIFICATION
If anyone would have reason to be confident of their standing before God, according to their works or upbringing or history, it would be Paul ... a Hebrew of Hebrews!
Everything hangs on our union with Jesus. If we are found in him, we are clothed with a righteousness that is not our own, but that which comes through Jesus Christ. This is the language of justification. In faith, we are united to a new head, a new and better Adam. And his righteousness is charged to our account.
Why use response? Despite the situation described above, Paul puts no faith/hope in his pedigree. We might think that his background, in light of all that he has shared, he'd hope in his past, he would hope in who he was and what he had accomplished to save him on the final day. Instead, his response is stunning. He looks at all those things and puts them in the loss column. They aren't gain, they are evidence of his bankruptcy. His only hope is Jesus Christ.
Paul takes false teaching head on. He has no room for the Judaizers as their teaching leads people away from the gospel and towards destruction. This has been a danger since the beginning of the gospel. See Acts 15 and the Jerusalem Council. My thoughts on 1–3 and it's place in the flow of the text: This makes sense given the following verses. Instead of rejoicing in your own pedigree or progress in the faith, rejoice in Jesus. Yes, Timothy and Epaphroditus are great examples of Christian faithfulness and we are wise to follow their example. We are wise to pay attention to what it means to walk worthy of the gospel. However, our boast must never be in who we are or what we have done. Our boast, instead, is in Jesus Christ. There are some, dear Philippians, who tack on burdens to the good news. They tell you that in order to be reconciled to God you must (1) place your faith in Jesus and (2) become a Jew by obeying the Jewish law, including the embrace of circumcision. Do not be deceived. Rejoice in the Lord. Beware of the dogs.
Look at my pedigree, see my credentials. If anyone should gain entrance into the kingdom of God, it is me! I've kept the law, come from a prominent tribe, and persecuted enemies of the faith. I'm in! But....
"all things" = a reference to all the things that I've imagined or hoped would merit God's favor, or add up to a "righteousness of my own."
Paul calls the Philippians, and us, to look away from our past efforts, away from our pedigree, and look to Jesus. We have no hope in how good we think we are or how great our family tree might be. Our hope is in the righteousness of Christ that comes through faith. Bank on Christ.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.