CHAPTER 3 3 Concluding Admonitions.  1Finally, my brothers, rejoice[E] in the Lord. Writing the same things to you is no burden for me but is a safeguard for you. V. Polemic: Righteousness and the Goal in Christ[F] Against Legalistic Teachers.  2[G] Beware of the dogs! Beware of the evil workers! Beware of the mutilation![H] 3For we are the circumcision,[I] we who worship through the Spirit of God, who boast in Christ Jesus and do not put our confidence in flesh, 4although I myself have grounds for confidence even in the flesh.   Paul’s Autobiography.  If anyone else thinks he can be confident in flesh, all the more can I. 5Circumcised on the eighth day,[J] of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrew parentage, in observance of the law a Pharisee, 6in zeal I persecuted the church, in righteousness based on the law I was blameless.   Righteousness from God.  7[But] whatever gains I had, these I have come to consider a loss[K] because of Christ. 8More 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 9and be found in him, not having any righteousness of my own based on the law but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God, depending on faith 10to know him and the power of his resurrection and [the] sharing of his sufferings by being conformed to his death, 11if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.   Forward in Christ.  [L] 12It is not that I have already taken hold of it or have already attained perfect maturity,[M] but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it, since I have indeed been taken possession of by Christ [Jesus]. 13Brothers, I for my part do not consider myself to have taken possession. Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus. 15Let us, then, who are “perfectly mature” adopt this attitude. And if you have a different attitude, this too God will reveal to you. 16Only, with regard to what we have attained, continue on the same course.[N]   Wrong Conduct and Our Goal.  [O] 17Join with others in being imitators of me,[P] brothers, and observe those who thus conduct themselves according to the model you have in us. 18For many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their “shame.” Their minds are occupied with earthly things. 20But our citizenship[Q] is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself.  
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