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Philippians 3


 1 Moreover, (1) my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. (2) It grieveth me not to write the (a) same things to you, and for you it is a sure thing.


(1) A conclusion of those things which have been before said, to wit, that they go forward cheerfully in the Lord.
(2) A preface to the next admonition that followeth, to take good heed and beware of false apostles, which join Circumcision with Christ (that is to say, justification by works, with free justification by faith) and beat into men's heads the ceremonies which are abolished, for true exercises of godliness and charity. And he calleth them dogs as profane barkers, and evil workmen, because they neglected true works, and did not teach the true use of them. To be short, he calleth them Concision, because it urging Circumcision, they cut off themselves and others from the Church.
(a) Which you have often times heard of me.


 2 Beware of (*) dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the (b) (♣) concision;


(*) Which bark against the true doctrine to fill their bellies.

(b) He alludeth to Circumcision, of the name whereof they boasted, they cut asunder the Church.

(♣) The false apostles gloried in their circumcision whereunto Paul here alludeth, calling them concision, which is cutting of and tearing asunder of the Church.


 3  (3) For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence (c) in the flesh;


(3) He sheweth that we ought to use true circumcision, to wit, the circumcision of the heart, so that cutting off all wicked affections by the virtue of Christ, we may serve God in purity of life.
(c) In outward things, which pertain nothing to the soul.


 4  (4) Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, much more I,


(4) He doubteth not to prefer himself even according to the flesh, before those hote urgers of the Law, that all men may know that he doeth with good judgment of mind, lightly esteem all those outward things; for so much as he lacketh nothing which hath Christ, nay, and confidence of our works cannot stand with the free justification in Christ by faith.


 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the kindred of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, (*) a Hebrew of the Hebrews, (♣) by the (♠) law a Pharisee.


(*) 2 Corinthians 11:22 .

(♣) Acts 23:6 .

(♠) Or, profession.


 6 Concerning zeal, I persecuted the Church; touching the righteousness which is in the Law, I was unrebukeable.


 7 But the things that were (d) vantage unto me, the same I counted loss for Christís sake.


(d) Which is accounted for vantage.


 8 Yea, doubtless I think (e) all things but loss for the excellent knowledge sake of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have counted all things loss, and do judge them to be dung, that I might (f) win Christ,


(e) He shutteth out all works, as well those that go before, as those that come after faith.
(f) That in their place I might get Christ, and of a poor man become rich, so far off am I from losing anything.


 9 And might be (*) found in (g) him, that is, (h) not having my own righteousness, which is of the Law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, even the righteousness which is of God through faith,


(*) As one grafted in him by faith.

(g) In Christ; for they that are found without Christ, are subject to condemnation.
(h) That is, to be in Christ, to be found not in a man's own righteousness, but clothed with the righteousness of Christ imputed to him.


 10  (5) That I may (i) know him, and the virtue of his resurrection, and the (6) fellowship of his afflictions, and be made conformable unto his death,


(5) This is the end of righteousness by faith touching us, that by the virtue of his resurrection we may escape from death.
(i) That I may feel him indeed, and have a trial of him.
(6) The way to that eternal salvation is to follow Christ his steps, by afflictions and persecutions, until we come to Christ himself, who is our mark whereat we shoot, and receive that reward whereunto God calleth us in him. And the Apostle setteth these true exercises of godliness against those vain ceremonies of the Law, wherein the false apostles put the sum of godliness.


 11 If by any means I might attain unto the (k) resurrection of the dead.


(k) To life everlasting, which followeth the resurrection of the Saints.


 12  (*) Not as though I had already attained to it, either were already perfect, but I follow, if that I may comprehend that for whose sake also I am (l) (♣) comprehended of Christ Jesus.


(*) Or have now taken full possession thereof, not that he doubted to attain unto it, but because he would declare the excellency thereof.

(l) For we run not, but so far forth, as we are laid hold on of Christ, that is, as God giveth us strength, and sheweth us the way.

(♣) We can run no further than God giveth us strength, and sheweth us the way.


 13 Brethren, I count not myself, that I have attained to it, but one thing I do: I forget that which is behind, and endeavor myself unto that which is before,


 14 And follow hard toward the (*) mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.


(*) That is, to obtain the crown of the glory in the heavens.


 15  (7) Let us therefore as many as (*) be (m) (♣) perfect, be thus minded; and if ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even the (♠) same unto you.


(7) The conclusion of this exhortation standing upon three members: The one is, that such as have profited in the truth of this doctrine, should continue in it. The second is, that if there be any which are yet ignorant and understand not these things, and doubt of the abolishing of the Law, they should cause no trouble, and should be gently borne withal, until they also be instructed of the Lord. The third is, that they esteem the false apostles by their fruits; wherein he doubteth not to set forth himself for an example.

(*) Or, have more profited than others.
(m) He said before that he was not perfect. So that in this place he calleth them perfect which have somewhat profited in the knowledge of Christ and the Gospel, whom he setteth against the rude and ignorant, as he himself expoundeth himself in Philippians 3:16 .

(♣) This perfection standeth in forsaking sin, and to be renewed through faith by him which is only perfect.

(♠) That is, of the Gospel, which is the preaching of the cross.


 16 Nevertheless, in that whereunto we are come, let us proceed by one rule, (*) that we may mind one thing.


(*) Romans 15:5; 1 Corinthians 1:10 .


 17 Brethren, be followers of me, and look on them, which walk so, as ye have us for an example.


 18  (8) (*) For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you weeping, that they are the enemies of the (♣) Cross of Christ;


(8) He painteth out the false apostles in their colors, not upon malice or ambition, but with sorrow and tears, to wit, because being enemies of the Gospel (for that is joined with affliction) they regard nothing else, but the commodities of this life, that is to say, that flowing in peace, and quietness, and all worldly pleasures, they may live in great estimation amongst men, whose miserable end he forewarneth them of.

(*) Romans 16:17 .

(♣) That is, of the Gospel, which is the preaching of the cross.


 19 Whose (n) end is damnation, whose God is their belly, and whose (o) (*) glory is to their shame, which mind earthly things.


(n) Reward.
(o) Which they hunt after from men's hands.

(*) The vain glory which they seek after in this world, shall turn to their confusion and shame.


 20  (9) But our (♣) conversation is in heaven, from whence also we look for the (*) Saviour, even the Lord Jesus Christ,


(9) He setteth against these fellows, true pastors which neglect earthly things, and aspire to heaven only, where they know that even in their bodies they shall be clothed with that eternal glory, by the virtue of God.

(♣) In mind and affection.

(*) 1 Corinthians 1:7; Titus 2:13 .


 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.



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