verses for this week: Hebrews 1:4 Being
made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance
obtained a more excellent name than they.
chapter 2, Paul urged the Philippians
to be like-minded and to have the mind of Christ.
He sent this letter back to them by his fellow-laborer and
who was a member of the church in Philippi.
Warns the Church Against Judaizers
3:1 Finally, my
brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to
me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. 2 Beware of dogs,
beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. 3 For we are the
circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ
Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
tells us that we should rejoice in the Lord, not in the flesh.
When we rejoice in the Lord, we should turn away from the
flesh and have no confidence in it. Paul minces no words in verse 2 where he calls the evil
workers ‘dogs’ and tells them to beware of this type of
want to destroy the work of the Lord, and we need to always
determine whether a teacher is a true teacher of God’s Word or a
Barnes Notes on the New Testament
may and should rejoice in him. The principal joy of the true
should be in the Lord. He should find his happiness not in riches,
or gaiety, or
vanity, or ambition, or books, or in the world in any form, but in
with the Lord Jesus, and in the hope of eternal life through him. In
and in his service, should be the highest of our joys, and in these
we may always
be happy. It is the privilege, therefore, of a Christian to rejoice.
He has more
sources of joy than any other man—sources which do not fail when
fail. Religion is not sadness or melancholy, it is joy; and the
never leave the impression on others that his religion makes him
either gloomy or
morose. A cheerful countenance, an eye of benignity, a conversation
kind, should always evince the joy of his heart, and in all his
contact with the
world around hint he should show that his heart is full of joy.
is interesting to note that the Gentiles were considered dogs to the
Jews. Paul warns
the church that the Pharisees may be the worst of dogs to beware of
in their day. They works were evil and they their circumcision was
only of following the fleshly rules, not following after the true
spiritual circumcision that only comes by the regeneration of Jesus
Christ. Men are
to worship God in spirit and in truth.
John 4:20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that
in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith
unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither
in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye
worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is
of the Jews. 23 But the hour
cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the
Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to
worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and
they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
The Flesh Vs. the Spirit
Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man
thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5
Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of
Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the
righteousness which is in the law,
blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted
loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss
for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for
whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but
dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine
own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through
the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
illustrates by using his own self as an example.
If men could trust in the flesh, Paul could boast more than
they all. He was
circumcised the eighth day according to the Law.
This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy
seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. 11
And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be
a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. 12 And he that is eight
days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your
generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of
any stranger, which is not of thy seed.
born of the tribe of Benjamin, the same tribe from which Saul, the
first king of Israel had originated.
Paul was a Hebrew of the Hebrews and was a Pharisee, the
strictest of the organized religious groups of his day.
According to the law, he was righteous and blameless as a
person could be. And
when it came to zeal, he was behind no one, having persecuted the
church with orders from the High Priest.
But all of
these things Paul counted them as nothing.
His desire was to found righteous by the blood of Jesus
Christ. Paul was like
the man who found the pearl of great price and gave up all he had to
obtain that thing of great value.
Matthew 13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a
merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 46 Who,
when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that
he had, and bought it.
how he gave up all his worldly titles and worldly gains to come and
buy without money that which was of the greatest value.
Isaiah 55:1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he
that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and
milk without money and without price. 2 Wherefore do ye spend money
for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which
satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is
good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul
shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even
the sure mercies of David.
learned that ‘our’ righteousness is nothing in the flesh, and he
desired to have the righteousness of God that comes only by
salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 10:1 Brethren,
my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might
be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but
not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s
righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness,
have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
declared that Israel was lost because they had not submitted
themselves unto the righteousness of God.
They were ignorant of the righteousness that can only be
obtained by turning to Jesus Christ.
McGee had this comment about the flesh.
“And have no confidence in the flesh.” We do not
have confidence in our old nature. We trust Christ alone. We do not
look to ourselves for salvation, nor can we live the Christian life
in our old nature. It must be Christ in us.
legalizers would follow Paul in his missionary journeys. After he
was gone, they would meet with the believers and say something like
this: “Well, we know that brother Paul says we are to have no
confidence in the flesh, that we are not to trust the rituals nor
the sacrifices, and that the Law won’t save us. He does well to
say that, because he doesn’t have very much to rest upon. He
doesn’t have the background in Judaism that we do. He says that
because of his ignorance and the failure of his life to measure up
to the requirements of the Law. So of course he has no confidence in
the flesh.” 
The High Calling of God
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the
fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already
perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which
also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not
myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting
those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things
which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the
high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Matthew Henrys Commentary on the New Testament
him here is believing in him: it is an experimental knowledge of the
power of his resurrection, and
the fellowship of his sufferings, or feeling the
transforming efficacy and virtue of them. Observe, The apostle was
of being sanctified as he was of being justified. He was as desirous
to know the
power of Christ’s death and resurrection killing sin in him, and
raising him up to
newness of life, as he was to receive the benefit of Christ’s
death and resurrection
in his justification. 4. That he might be conformable unto him, and
this also is
meant of his sanctification. We are then made conformable to his
death when we
die to sin, as Christ died for sin, when we are crucified with
Christ, the flesh and
affections of it mortified, and the world
is crucified to us, and we
to the world, by
virtue of the cross of Christ. This is our conformity to his
calling into the ministry was special.
And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there
shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the
earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why
persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord
said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick
against the pricks. 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord,
what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and
go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
Paul had a
driving desire to know Jesus better.
Every Christian needs to have this desire that we might
become more like Him. The
more we know about Christ, the more loyal we will be to Him and the
more we will love him.
Paul wanted to understand the Resurrection in a greater way
and to be a partaker in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings.
1 Corinthians 15:51
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall
all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the
last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be
raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this
corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on
certainly did not claim to be perfect.
But he knew one day he would be perfect when the resurrection
took place. That day,
all true believers will receive a perfect body fashioned unto that
of the Lord’s glorified body.
In verse 13, Paul speaks of forgetting those things that were
behind him and reaching forth unto those things which are before.
2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept
the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of
righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at
that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his
Those Who are Perfect
15 Let us therefore, as many as be
perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded,
God shall reveal even this unto you. 16 Nevertheless, whereto we
have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the
perfect in verse 15 speaks of being full grown or mature. The Spirit of God guides us unto all truth.
We are to walk by the same rule and mind the same thing.
Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing
ye are dull of hearing. 12 For when for the time ye ought to be
teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first
principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need
of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is
unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age,
even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to
discern both good and evil.
The Walk and Responsibility of a Christian
17 Brethren, be followers together of me,
and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 18 (For
many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even
weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose
end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in
their shame, who mind earthly things.)
we follow the example of Paul? The reason is because he was a follower of Christ and tried his best to live the life just
like Jesus would have lived.
(I Cor. 11:1) We
are to mark those who live Godly lives, and also to mark those who
cause divisions among us. Those
who are enemies of Christ will face an end of destruction one day.
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and
offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid
them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but
their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the
hearts of the simple.
20 For our conversation is in heaven;
from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned
like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is
able even to subdue all things unto himself.
word conversation in verse 20 speak of citizenship. It is true that we are citizens of this world and have
an obligation as such. But
our true citizenship is in heaven.
We are commanded to look for Christ to return from heaven.
(Acts 1:10-11) As
mentioned earlier, when Christ returns, he will change our bodies at
1 Thessalonians 4:13
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them
which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no
hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so
them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this
we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and
remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are
asleep. 16 For the Lord
himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of
the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ
shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be
caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the
air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one
another with these words.
Study Bible had this to say:
“Join in following my example” could be rendered
“become fellow imitators of me.” “Fellow imitators” (summimetaéµg, Gk.)
is related to the English word “mimics.” Just as Paul mimics
Christ, so they should mimic or imitate him. “Pattern” (tupos,
comes from tuptoµg (Gk.),
which meant to strike an exact image upon a blank piece of metal.
The word was used of making coinage. Paul’s ministry consists of
following Christ so closely that in making Paul a pattern for the
Christian walk, his converts would essentially be reproducing the
image of their King, Jesus Christ, throughout the realm. Those who
refuse to conform to the image of the Suffering Servant are only
reproducing the base coinage of this world, which will be further
devalued when Christ returns.
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But the path of the just is as the shining light, that
shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
Practice Random Acts of Kindness.
Each act spreads, and many will be blessed.