Bible Commentaries

Philippians 3

Verses 1-21

This is the great chapter of the autobiography of Paul. First, he emphasized the story of his past in a most remarkable way. Then referring to these things as gains (the word in the original is plural) he declared he counted them loss. The vision of Christ immediately showed him the worthlessness of everything in comparison. He then brought up the story of his life to the time of his writing. It would then be about thirty years after meeting the risen Lord that he counted his gains but loss. He now wrote, "I count all things to be loss." After thirty years of tribulation and trial such as few men have known, there was no regret in his heart.

The supreme passion of his life was that he might "know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings." Having thus looked at his past and declared his present attitude, he spoke of his sense of limitation, and declared that there remained for him but one thing, which was to press toward the ultimate realization of conformity to his Lord spiritually, mentally, and physically.

He then urged those to whom he wrote to walk by the same rule. Referring to the false walk of certain people, he described the true walk as inspired by the consciousness of heavenly citizenship, and having as its direction the complete realization of salvation at the Advent of the Lord. Those referred to as walking in a false way are seen as diametrically opposed to this idea. In their case the Cross is made of none effect, and the whole mind is materialized and sensualized. The end of such conduct is perdition, and the apostle, even with tears, warns the saints at Philippi against the peril of such conduct.