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Philippians 3


Please choose a passage to read our commentary:

Philippians 3:1

With self-awareness, Paul repeats a logical application of his main point to the Philippians to choose the same mindset Jesus chose: rejoice in the Lord. If we have the mindset of Christ, we will believe that whatever God places in our lives is for our best interest. To choose to rejoice is to choose to view all circumstances as an opportunity to gain the great benefit of obedience to Christ.

Philippians 3:2-7

Paul warns about teachers who seek to lead the Philippians away from the truth of Christ’s finished work on the cross. These were likely teachers who sought to add to Christ’s gospel, telling Gentiles to rely on religious practice to become righteous. But Paul points out that he is the most Jewish of Jews and yet he does not count on religious practice gaining him benefit in the sight of God; only faith in Christ gains us justification in the sight of God, and only the obedience of faith in Jesus pleases God, and gains us rewards from Him.

Philippians 3:8-11

Paul considers religious practices and custom meaningless compared to the far better value of serving Jesus Christ through the obedience of faith. Following the Jewish Law does not make anyone right in God’s eyes; only faith in Christ does that. But life is more than simply being born into God’s family. There is a future reward for believers who give up worldly concerns, who live out the servant mindset of Christ, obeying Him even if it means giving up everything, even dying for Him, just as He died for the world. Paul makes clear that this reward is worth giving up everything to gain.

Philippians 3:12-16

Living out the servant mindset of Jesus is an ongoing process. It is something believers should seek to do for the rest of their lives, daily pressing on toward God’s calling for us to have the attitude of Jesus, who lived out faithful obedience to God to the point of death, and was rewarded for it by God.

Philippians 3:17-21

Paul tells the Philippians to imitate him, not other believers who are living contrary to Christ by serving their own immediate desires. They live lives of destroyed opportunity and shameful waste, prioritizing earthly gain. Believers should look beyond the present and beyond the earth, toward Heaven where we truly belong, our true country, where Jesus will one day take us as He remakes our bodies to be sinless and totally in step with Him.