For it is we who are the Circumcised, we who worship by the Spirit of God and make our boast in the Messiah Yeshua! We do not put confidence in human qualifications,
even though I certainly have grounds for putting confidence in such things. If anyone else thinks he has grounds for putting confidence in human qualifications, I have better grounds:
b'rit-milah on the eighth day, by birth belonging to the people of Isra'el, from the tribe of Binyamin, a Hebrew-speaker, with Hebrew-speaking parents, in regard to the Torah, a Parush,
in regard to zeal, a persecutor of the Messianic Community, in regard to the righteousness demanded by legalism, blameless.
But the things that used to be advantages for me, I have, because of the Messiah, come to consider a disadvantage.
Not only that, but I consider everything a disadvantage in comparison with the supreme value of knowing the Messiah Yeshua as my Lord. It was because of him that I gave up everything and regard it all as garbage, in order to gain the Messiah
and be found in union with him, not having any righteousness of my own based on legalism, but having that righteousness which comes through the Messiah's faithfulness, the righteousness from God based on trust.
Yes, I gave it all up in order to know him, that is, to know the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings as I am being conformed to his death,
so that somehow I might arrive at being resurrected from the dead.
It is not that I have already obtained it or already reached the goal - no, I keep pursuing it in the hope of taking hold of that for which the Messiah Yeshua took hold of me.
Brothers, I, for my part, do not think of myself as having yet gotten hold of it; but one thing I do: forgetting what is behind me and straining forward toward what lies ahead,