The Apostle Paul doesn’t mince words when he warns the Philippians against those who demand and require circumcision for Gentile believers. True circumcision, Paul reminds us, is inward, of the heart, and by the Holy Spirit. Any perceived righteousness by keeping the law Paul counts as loss and rubbish compared to the surpassing value of knowing Christ. He urges the Philippians to stand firm and rejoice in the Lord, not putting confidence in the flesh, but seeking God’s will. Paul wants to stir their hearts to imitate his pursuit of Christ above all things.
The Rev. Dr. John Rickert, pastor emeritus in South Carolina, joins the Rev. Dr. Phil Booe to study Philippians 3.
Paul’s letters to the Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians contain a wealth of theology and practical guidance for living out the Christian faith. Ephesians unpacks God’s overarching plan of salvation and our identity in Christ, calling us to unity and holiness in the Church. Philippians overflows with joy, encouraging us to imitate Christ’s humility and develop spiritual maturity. Colossians stresses Christ’s preeminence and sufficiency, warning against false teaching and exhorting us to set our minds on things above. Together these essential epistles provide incredible insights into doctrines like grace, reconciliation, and redemption while also equipping us to walk in a manner worthy of the gospel in our relationships, speech, work, and ministry. Get ready to deepen your faith as we explore the powerful messages in Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians!
Thy Strong Word, hosted by Rev. Dr. Phil Booe, pastor of St. John Lutheran Church of Luverne, MN, reveals the light of our salvation in Christ through study of God’s Word, breaking our darkness with His redeeming light. Each weekday, two pastors fix our eyes on Jesus by considering Holy Scripture, verse by verse, in order to be strengthened in the Word and be equipped to faithfully serve in our daily vocations.
Thy Strong Word is graciously underwritten by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation. Through the mission gifts of people like you, LHF translates, publishes, distributes and introduces books that are Bible-based, Christ-centered and Reformation-driven. Learn more at lhfmissions.org.
Righteousness Through Faith in Christ
3 Finally, my brothers,[a] rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.
2 Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God[b] and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though 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: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law,[c] blameless. 7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Straining Toward the Goal
12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. 18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org