3 So then,[a] my brothers, keep on rejoicing in the Lord. It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you; indeed, it is for your safety.
2 Beware of the dogs! Beware of the evil workers! Beware of the mutilators![b]3 For it is we who are the circumcision[c]—we who worship in the Spirit of God[d] and find our joy in the Messiah[e] Jesus. We have not placed any confidence in the flesh, 4 although I could have confidence in the flesh. If anyone thinks he can place confidence in the flesh, I have more reason to think so.[f]5 Having been circumcised on the eighth day, I am of the nation of Israel, from the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews. As far as the Law is concerned, I was a Pharisee. 6 As for my zeal, I was a persecutor of the church. As far as righteousness in the Law is concerned, I was blameless.
7 But whatever things were assets to me, these I now consider a loss for the sake of the Messiah.[g]8 What is more, I continue to consider all these things to be a loss for the sake of what is far more valuable, knowing the Messiah[h] Jesus, my Lord. It is because of him that I have experienced the loss of all those things. Indeed, I consider them rubbish[i] in order to gain the Messiah[j]9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the Law, but one that comes through the faithfulness[k] of the Messiah,[l] the righteousness that comes from God and that depends on faith. 10 I want to know the Messiah[m]—what his resurrection power is like and what it means to share in his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11 though I hope to experience the resurrection from the dead.
Pursuing the Goal
12 It’s not that I have already reached this goal or have already become perfect. But I keep pursuing it, hoping somehow to embrace it just as I have been embraced by the Messiah[n] Jesus. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself to have embraced it yet.[o] But this one thing I do: Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I keep pursuing the goal to win the prize[p] of God’s heavenly call in the Messiah[q] Jesus.
15 Therefore, those of us who are mature[r] should think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will show you how to think.[s]16 However, we should live up to what we have achieved so far.
True and False Teachers
17 Join together in imitating me, brothers, and pay close attention to those who live by the example we have set for you.[t]18 For I have often told you, and now tell you even with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of the Messiah.[u]19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their belly, and their glory is in their shame. Their minds are set on worldly things.
20 Our citizenship, however, is in heaven, and it is from there that we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus, the Messiah.[v]21 He will change our unassuming bodies and make them like his glorious body through the power that enables him to bring everything under his authority.
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