New American Bible (Revised Edition)
17 Join with others in being imitators of me,[a] brothers, and observe those who thus conduct themselves according to the model you have in us.(A) 18 For many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ.(B) 19 Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their “shame.” Their minds are occupied with earthly things.(C) 20 But our citizenship[b] is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.(D) 21 He 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.(E)
VI. Instructions for the Community[c]
Live in Concord. 1 Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, beloved.(F)
- 3:17 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 Phil 4:9; 1 Thes 1:6; 2 Thes 3:7, 9; 1 Cor 4:6).
- 3:20 Citizenship: Christians constitute a colony of heaven, as Philippi was a colonia of Rome (Acts 16:12). The hope Paul expresses involves the final coming of Christ, not a status already attained, such as the opponents claim.
- 4:1–9 This series of ethical admonitions rests especially on the view of Christ and his coming (cf. Phil 4:5) in Phil 3:20–21. Paul’s instructions touch on unity within the congregation, joy, prayer, and the Christian outlook on life.