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Extreme Faith
Philippians 3:1-11
Rejoice in the righteousness you were set apart for.
Published August 1st, 2018
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Philippians 3:1-11
Finally, my brothers, 1 k rejoice in the Lord.
Now I conclude with this, you must rejoice in the Lord!
Τὸ λοιπόν, ἀδελφοί μου, χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ. τὰ αὐτὰ γράφειν ὑμῖν ἐμοὶ μὲν οὐκ ὀκνηρόν, ὑμῖν δὲ ἀσφαλές.
l To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.
I write this to you at no cost to myself, but in the interest of your safe keeping:
Look out for m the dogs,
Look out for those insistent on evil,
Βλέπετε τοὺς κύνας, βλέπετε τοὺς κακοὺς ἐργάτας, βλέπετε τὴν κατατομήν.
look out for n the evildoers,
Look out for those who commit evil,
look out for those who mutilate the flesh.
And look out for those who hurt the body of Christ.
For o we are the circumcision,
We as believers are cut off and set aside, just as in circumcision,
ἡμεῖς γάρ ἐσμεν ἡ περιτομή, οἱ πνεύματι θεοῦ λατρεύοντες καὶ καυχώμενοι ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ καὶ οὐκ ἐν σαρκὶ πεποιθότες,
p who worship q by the Spirit of God 1
(those of us who worship and praise God by the power of his Holy Spirit,
and r glory in Christ Jesus
and revel in the unfathomable glory found in our savior, not ourselves,
and put no confidence in the flesh—
and in turn put absolutely none of our faith in ourselves).
s though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also.
Believe me, of all people you would think I would put at least a small part of my faith in myself!
καίπερ ἐγὼ ἔχων πεποίθησιν καὶ ἐν σαρκί. Εἴ τις δοκεῖ ἄλλος πεποιθέναι ἐν σαρκί, ἐγὼ μᾶλλον•
If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh,
Now if any of you hear that and think, maybe Paul has less reason to put faith in himself than I do,
I have more:
Hear now all the reasons I could if I wanted to:
t circumcised on the eighth day,
I was circumcised on the eighth day,
περιτομῇ ὀκταήμερος, ἐκ γένους Ἰσραήλ, φυλῆς Βενιαμίν, Ἑβραῖος ἐξ Ἑβραίων, κατὰ νόμον Φαρισαῖος,
u of the people of Israel,
I come from God's chosen people,
v of the tribe of Benjamin,
I come from the tribe of Benjamin,
u a Hebrew of Hebrews;
I am an outstanding Hebrew,
as to the law, w a Pharisee;
I come from the strictest of Hebrews,
x as to zeal, y a persecutor of the church;
I have been so passionate, I committed myself to persecuting those who did not follow the law,
κατὰ ζῆλος διώκων τὴν ἐκκλησίαν , κατὰ δικαιοσύνην τὴν ἐν νόμῳ γενόμενος ἄμεμπτος.
z as to righteousness under the law, 1 blameless.
I followed the Mosaic law with perfect care.
But a whatever gain I had, b I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
But! None of that gain counted for anything. In fact, in order to gain Christ I had stop crediting that to myself and calling it my own.
[Ἀλλʼ] ἅτινα ἦν μοι κέρδη, ταῦτα ἥγημαι διὰ τὸν Χριστὸν ζημίαν.
Indeed, I count everything as loss
Truly, I now put everything in my life in that category, that I must be willing to relinquish them completely,
ἀλλὰ μενοῦνγε καὶ ἡγοῦμαι πάντα ζημίαν εἶναι διὰ τὸ ὑπερέχον τῆς γνώσεως Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ κυρίου μου, διʼ ὃν τὰ πάντα ἐζημιώθην, καὶ ἡγοῦμαι σκύβαλα, ἵνα Χριστὸν κερδήσω
because of c the surpassing worth of d knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
in order that I might be solely focused on knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, a treasure far greater than anything else imaginable.
For his sake I e have suffered the loss of all things
This is not just a concept for me. In exchange for the value of knowing Christ I have suffered incredible losses,
and count them as rubbish,
and to that loss I say good riddance!
in order that I may gain Christ
Because I would rather know Christ more fully
καὶ εὑρεθῶ ἐν αὐτῷ, μὴ ἔχων ἐμὴν δικαιοσύνην τὴν ἐκ νόμου ἀλλὰ τὴν διὰ πίστεως Χριστοῦ, τὴν ἐκ θεοῦ δικαιοσύνην ἐπὶ τῇ πίστει,
and be found in him,
And even more, to rest in him with a deeper contentment than my own merits could ever support.
not having f a righteousness of my own that comes from the law,
All this is true, despite my not having a speck or righteousness through the law,
but g that which comes through faith in Christ,
but only through faith in Christ,
the righteousness from God that depends on faith—
that God has clothed me with Christ's righteousness because of my faith in his ability and desire to.
h that I may know him and i the power of his resurrection,
He gives me this faith so that I may know him more fully, and know the magnificent power of Jesus' resurrection,
τοῦ γνῶναι αὐτὸν καὶ τὴν δύναμιν τῆς ἀναστάσεως αὐτοῦ καὶ [τὴν] κοινωνίαν [τῶν] παθημάτων αὐτοῦ, συμμορφιζόμενος τῷ θανάτῳ αὐτοῦ,
and j may share his sufferings,
and that I might also share in Jesus' sufferings,
becoming like him in his death,
even to the point of suffering like he did through his death on the cross.
that by any means possible I may k attain the resurrection from the dead.
Even that would be worth it, if it means that I may share in his resurrection up to heaven.
εἴ πως καταντήσω εἰς τὴν ἐξανάστασιν τὴν ἐκ νεκρῶν.
I see so many expressions of extremism here. No confidence in the flesh. If anyone has confidence in the flesh I have more. Whatever gain I had I counted as loss. I count everything as loss. Suffered the loss of all things. By any means necessary. This should be the Christian life and yet it is the opposite of the balanced earthly comfort my sin nature wants to keep me in. I want to worship by the Spirit of God and see the kind of wonderfully lopsided scales that Paul saw, where the only item of any merit whatsoever, when weighed on the scales of eternity, was knowing God and being found in His Son Jesus, the only one who has truly lived with God as his highest treasure.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.