3 For we are the circumcision, 5 we who worship through the Spirit of God, who boast in Christ Jesus and do not put our confidence in flesh,
5 Circumcised on the eighth day, 6 of the race of
6 in zeal I persecuted the church, in righteousness based on the law I was blameless.
7 (But) whatever gains I had, these I have come to consider a loss 7 because of Christ.
8 More than that, I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things and I consider them so much rubbish, that I may gain Christ
12 8 It is not that I have already taken hold of it or have already attained perfect maturity, 9 but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it, since I have indeed been taken possession of by Christ (Jesus).
16 Only, with regard to what we have attained, continue on the same course. 10
20 But our citizenship 13 is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
1  Finally . . . rejoice: the adverb often signals the close of a letter; cf Philippians 4:8; 2 Cor 13:11. While the verb could also be translated＂good-bye＂ or＂farewell,＂ although it is never so used in Greek epistolography, the theme of joy has been frequent in the letter (Philippians 1:18; 2:2, 18); note also Philippians 4:4 and the addition of＂always＂ there as evidence for the meaning＂rejoice.＂ To write the same things may refer to what Paul has previously taught in
2 [2-21] An abrupt change in content and tone, either because Paul at this point responds to disturbing news he has just heard about a threat to the faith of the Philippians in the form of false teachers, or because part of another Pauline letter was inserted here; see Introduction. The chapter describes these teachers in strong terms as dogs. The persons meant are evidently different from the rival preachers of Philippians 1:14-18 and the opponents of Philippians 1:28. Since Philippians 3:2-4 emphasize Jewish terms like circumcision (Philippians 3:2-3, 5), some relate them to the＂Judaizers＂ of the Letter to the Galatians. Other phrases make them appear more like the false teachers of 2 Cor 11:12-15, the evil-workers. The latter part of the chapter depicts the many who are enemies of Christ's cross in terms that may sound more Gentile or even＂gnostic＂ than Jewish (Philippians 3:18-19). Accordingly, some see two groups of false teachers in Phil 3, others one group characterized by a claim of having attained＂perfect maturity＂ (Philippians 3:12-15).
3 [2-11] Paul sets forth the Christian claim, especially using personal, autobiographical terms that are appropriate to the situation. He presents his own experience in coming to know Christ Jesus in terms of righteousness or justification (cf Romans 1:16-17; 3:21-5:11; Gal 2:5-11), contrasting the righteousness from God through faith and that of one's own based on the law as two exclusive ways of pleasing God.
4  Beware of the mutilation: literally,＂incision,＂ an ironic wordplay on＂circumcision＂; cf Gal 5:12. There may be an association with the self-inflicted mutilations of the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:28) and of devotees of Cybele who slashed themselves in religious frenzy.
7  Loss: his knowledge of Christ led Paul to reassess the ways of truly pleasing and serving God. His reevaluation indicates the profound and lasting effect of his experience of the meaning of Christ on the way to
8 [12-16] To be taken possession of by Christ does not mean that one has already arrived at perfect spiritual maturity. Paul and the Philippians instead press on, trusting in God.
9  Attained perfect maturity: possibly an echo of the concept in the mystery religions of being an initiate, admitted to divine secrets.
10  Some manuscripts add, probably to explain Paul's cryptic phrase,＂thinking alike.＂
11 [17-21] Paul and those who live a life centered in Christ, envisaging both his suffering and resurrection, provide a model that is the opposite of opponents who reject Christ's cross (cf 1 Cor 1:23).
12  Being imitators of me: not arrogance, but humble simplicity, since all his converts know that Paul is wholly dedicated to imitating Christ (1 Cor 11:1; cf also Philippians 4:9; 1 Thes 1:6; 2 Thes 3:7, 9; 1 Cor 4:6).
13  Citizenship: Christians constitute a colony of heaven, as Philippi was a colonia of