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Chapter 3

1Now, my brothers, goodbye, and the Lord be with you. I do not mind writing the same thing over and over to you; it is necessary for your safety.

2Look out for those dogs, those mischief-makers, with their amputation! 3We are the true circumcision, who worship God by his Spirit, priding ourselves only on Christ Jesus, and not relying on physical advantages, 4though I at least am entitled to rely on them.

If anyone thinks he can rely on his physical advantages, still more can I! 5I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a descendant of Israel. I belong to the tribe of Benjamin. I am a Hebrew, and the son of Hebrews. As to the Law, I was a Pharisee; 6as to my zeal, I was a persecutor of the church; and by the Law’s standard of uprightness, no fault could be found with me. 7But for the sake of Christ I have come to count my former gains as loss. 8Why, I count everything as loss compared with the supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have lost everything, and think it rubbish, in order to gain Christ 9and be known to be united to him, with any uprightness I may have not based on law but coming through faith in Christ—the uprightness that comes from God through faith. 10I want to know him in the power of resurrection, and to share his sufferings and even his death, 11in the hope of attaining resurrection from the dead. 12Not that I have secured it yet, or already reached perfection, but I am pressing on to see if I can capture it, because I have been captured by Jesus Christ. 13Brothers, I do not consider that I have captured it yet, only, forgetting what is behind me, and straining toward what lies ahead, 14I am pressing toward the goal, for the prize to which God through Christ Jesus calls us upward. 15Let as many of us therefore as are mature have this attitude. If you have any different attitude, God will make this clear to you. 16Only we must live up to what we have already attained.

17Follow my example, brothers, all of you, and notice those who follow the pattern we have set you. 18For there are many who live, as I have often told you, and tell you now with tears, like enemies of the cross of Christ. 19They are doomed to destruction: their appetites are their god; they glory in their shame; they are absorbed in earthly matters. 20But the commonwealth to which we belong is in heaven, and from it we are eagerly awaiting the coming of a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21He will make our poor bodies over to resemble his glorious body, by exerting the power he has to subject everything to himself.

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