The epistle of Philippians is one of the seven prison letter of Paul. It is the letter written to encourage and motivate the believers at Philippi to rejoice in the Lord in the midst of sufferings.
In fact, the true and real joy are “in Christ” only. Therefore, every believer can rejoice in the Lord.
While repeating the same thought (Rejoice in the Lord, Philippians 3:3), in chapter 3 Paul tells about the past, present and future of a believer from the his own life (past, present and future).
Past of Paul (Philippians 3: 1-9), Present (at the time of this letter) of Paul (Philippians 3: 10-16) and Future of Paul (Philippians 3: 17-21). The past of Paul was full of “confidence in flesh. However his present was a life with a definite goal and his future was to “have the glory”.
- Confidence in the flesh Vs Worshiping or serving God in Spirit and Rejoicing in Christ (Philippians 3: 1-9):
For we are the circumcision, which ¹worship God in the spirit, and ²rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have ³no confidence in the flesh. Philippians 3:3
The past of Paul (Philippians 3: 4-6) was very good from the ‘flesh’ point of view. But he counted it as dung (Philippians 3:7).
- Pressing towards goal
Paul counted such past as dung because of the goal that he had. The five-fold goal of Paul was:
- For the excellency of the knowledge of Christ
- To win Christ
- To possess the righteousness of Christ by faith
- To know the power of the resurrection of Christ
- To be conformed to the death of Christ
To reach this goal he did
- Count the past as dung
- forget the past and
- press toward the mark
- Paul is clear understanding was that he was pilgrim in this world. Every men and women of God in the Holy Bible (New Testament) had such clear understanding.
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself (Philippians 3:20-21)
Questions to meditate:
- What kind of past do you have? (Are you glorying in those things?)
- Do you have any goal(s) for your life? (What is your goal for your life?)