Philippians 3

One of the themes of Philippians is joy, and Paul starts chapter three with a call to rejoice! The fact that it’s a “safeguard” shows us that it’s something we need to continually remind ourselves to do. Then he addresses another theme that repeats throughout his letters. There are those from the Jewish faith who want to add the law to Christ for salvation. Paul points to his own background to repudiate this teaching. He had all the credentials. He was zealous for God and a strict keeper of the law. But he realized that it was only through Christ that he could be saved! Paul’s own righteousness wasn’t enough. Christ is the only one who faithfully kept the law, so it’s only through His righteousness that we can be saved. Even so, Paul recognizes that he still has work to do. We aren’t saved to do whatever we want. We’re saved for holiness. We’re saved for service. If we don’t “strive,” do we really know Christ? Paul encourages them (and us) to not imitate the false teachers, but instead we are to look to those who provide good examples and imitate them. We “strive” as they “strive.” By striving we show we know God, and we will attain the resurrection from the dead and be transformed to be like Christ!

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