"THE EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS" Chapter Three OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To see the error of placing confidence in fleshly accomplishments 2) To understand the need to strive toward perfection in our desire to know and serve Christ 3) To be reminded of our true citizenship in heaven SUMMARY In this chapter we find a warning against those who place great confidence in the flesh (1-3). If anyone had reason to boast about fleshly accomplishments, it was Paul with his Jewish heritage (4-6). But all such things were considered rubbish in relation to the excellence of knowing Christ Jesus (7-8). Therefore Paul had as his goal to be found in Christ, having that righteousness which is by faith in Jesus, knowing Him and the power of His resurrection, and even sharing in His sufferings, that he might by any means attain to the resurrection from the dead (9-11). Paul then describes his attitude of pressing on, and encourages all to follow his example and that of others who walk likewise (12-17). Such an exhortation is necessary in view of the reality that there are many people who are enemies of the cross of Christ, who have made their fleshly appetites the focus of their minds, and indeed their god (18-19). Christians, however, should remember that their true citizenship is in heaven, from which we eagerly wait for Jesus Christ who will transform our lowly bodies to be conformed to His glorious body (20-21). OUTLINE I. WARNINGS AGAINST JUDAISM (1-11) A. BEWARE OF THE JUDAIZERS (1-3) 1. Rejoice in the Lord! (1) 2. Beware of "dogs," evil workers, the false circumcision (2) 3. For the true circumcision are those who... a. Worship God in the Spirit b. Rejoice in Christ c. Have no confidence in the flesh (3) B. PAUL'S EARLIER CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH (4-6) 1. Paul had many grounds for boasting in the flesh (4) 2. A list of things pertaining to the flesh in which he could have boasted (5-6) C. PAUL'S DESIRE TO KNOW CHRIST (7-11) 1. He counted all as loss for the surpassing value of knowing Christ (7-8) 2. He supreme goal: a. To have that righteousness which comes through faith in Christ (9) b. To know Christ and the power of His resurrection (10a) c. To share in His sufferings, even in His death, that by any means he might attain to the resurrection from the dead (10b-11) II. WARNINGS AGAINST ANTINOMIANISM (12-21) A. PAUL'S ATTITUDE OF PRESSING ON (12-14) 1. He does not consider himself perfect, so he presses on (12) 2. He forgets those things which are behind, and reaches forward to what lies ahead (13) 3. His goal is the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (14) B. AN EXHORTATION FOR THEM TO HAVE THE SAME MIND (15-17) 1. Let those who are mature have the same mind (15) 2. To the degree you have already attained, so live (16) 3. Follow the example set by Paul and others, who live this way (17) C. A WARNING AGAINST THE ENEMIES OF THE CROSS (18-19) 1. With tears, Paul warns them of those who do not walk properly (18) 2. Such people set their minds on earthly things, making their belly their god (19) D. A REMINDER OF OUR TRUE CITIZENSHIP (20-21) 1. Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we eagerly wait for Jesus (20) 2. Who when He comes will transform our lowly body to conform to His glorious body (21)
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER Move your mouse pointer underneath each question to see the answer.
1) What are the main points of this chapter? 2) Who does Paul warn against? (2) 3) What characterizes those who are the true circumcision? (3) 4) What sort of things could Paul have boasted pertaining to the flesh? (4-6) 5) How did Paul view these fleshly things? (7-8) 6) What was Paul's earnest desire? (9-11) 7) Did Paul view himself as having already attained, or having been perfected? (12) 8) According to Paul, what was the "one thing" he did? (13-14) 9) What is the attitude, or mind, of those who are "mature"? (15) 10) How should the Christian walk? (16) 11) Whose example were the Philippians to follow? (17) 12) What description is given of those who are "enemies of the cross of Christ"? (18-19) 13) Where is our citizenship? (20) 14) What will Christ do when He comes again? (21)