Paul had been among the most religious of his day in Philippians 3:5–6 (LEB) “a Hebrew born from Hebrews … according to the righteousness in the law being blameless” and then he had an encounter with Jesus Christ and none of his religious piety mattered and in fact, he says in Philippians 3:8 (LEB) More than that, I even consider all things to be loss because of the surpassing greatness of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for the sake of whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and consider them dung, in order that I may gain Christ”. There is now for Paul, a true relationship with God that is our spirit to his in Philippians 3:3 (LEB) “For we are the circumcision, the ones who worship by the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus and do not put confidence in the flesh”. Now Paul says in Philippians 3:14 (LEB) “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”. But this “upward call of God in Christ Jesus” is bigger than any of us can handle on our own and we need people that will be “fellow worker and fellow soldier” in Philippians 2:25. Of these people that take up the work of God’s kingdom, Paul says in Philippians 2:29b “consider such people highly honored”.
Sincerely Concerned About Your Circumstances
Consider Such People Highly Honored
Paul was not alone in the work of the ministry and he commends his fellow worker here. It is clear that even with his help, there was more to be done than they could accomplish and it nearly broke this man in
Philippians 2:30 (LEB) “because on account of the work of Christ he came near to the point of death, risking his life in order that he might make up for your inability to serve me.”
Paul isn’t complaining about “your inability to serve me” he is just giving them an account of the situation and it has always been this way. There are more needs than any one person can meet. Even Jesus felt the press of the people in
Matthew 9:36–38 (LEB) ‘And when he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were weary and dejected, like sheep that did not have a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 Therefore ask the Lord of the harvest that he send out workers into his harvest.” ’
What Paul is saying here is that this man answered and went to work as a “fellow worker and fellow soldier” in Philippians 2:25, and because of that, they should honor him in
Philippians 2:29 (LEB) “Therefore welcome him in the Lord with all joy, and consider such people highly honored”.
Worship by the Spirit of God
There are many that that say and do things in the name of God but they are described here as “evil workers” in
Philippians 3:2 (LEB) “Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the mutilation”.
This is pretty harsh talk and in our modern politically correct culture this doesn’t fit the religious box that only includes grace and peace and gentleness and kindness and ignores the rebellious who are against God and the things of God. Jesus said three times, “woe to you” as he described these people in
Matthew 23:25–33 (LEB) “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees—hypocrites!—because you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence! …”
But Paul only intends a warning and then describes who we are as believers. It is not circumcision in the flesh, but circumcision of the heart that matters in
Philippians 3:3 (LEB) “For we are the circumcision, the ones who worship by the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus and do not put confidence in the flesh”.
I Press on Toward the Goal for the Prize
Paul had been raised in the thick of the Jewish Law and followed its mandates religiously, “according to the righteousness of the law being blameless” in Philippians 3:6. And then he had an encounter with Jesus Christ which he recounts in Acts 26:13–19 and as a result of this encounter, Paul came into “the surpassing greatness of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord” and suddenly, Paul understood that all of his past efforts were as “dung”, useless before God in
Philippians 3:8–9 (LEB) More than that, I even consider all things to be loss because of the surpassing greatness of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for the sake of whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and consider them dung, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and may be found in him, not having my righteousness which is from the law, but which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God on the basis of faith”.
Now Paul says, there is a new standard, new goals and he says in
Philippians 3:14 (LEB) “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Our Commonwealth Exists in Heaven
Rejoice in the Lord Always
My God Will Fulfill Your Every Need
All the Saints Greet You
- Philippians 2:25–30 Consider Such People Highly Honored
- Philippians 3:1–4 Worship by the Spirit of God
- Philippians 3:5–14 I Press on Toward the Goal for the Prize
- Philippians 2:19-30
- Philippians 3:1-21
- Philippians 4:1-23