Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO PHILIPPIANS 3\\

In this chapter the apostle cautions the Philippians against false
teachers, whom he describes as evil men, and exhorts them to walk as
they had him, and other faithful ministers for an example. And whereas
these judaizing teachers were for drawing them off from Christ, and
weakening their joy and glorying in him, he exhorts them in the first
place to rejoice in Christ, \\#Php 3:1\\, and to beware of them, whom
he describes as dogs, as evil workers, as the concision, \\#Php 3:2\\,
and opposes to them the characters of real saints, who are truly what
they vainly boasted of, really circumcised persons in a Gospel sense,
spiritual worshippers of God, joyful believers in Christ, and such as
placed no confidence in outward things, \\#Php 3:3\\, This the apostle
illustrates in his own case, who had as much reason for trusting in
such things as any man whatever, \\#Php 3:4\\, of which he gives an
enumeration in several particulars, \\#Php 3:5,6\\, upon which he
passes his judgment, and shows of what account, and in what esteem they
were with him before, and now; that formerly they were reckoned gain,
but now loss, \\#Php 3:7\\, and which he explains as referring to every
thing short of Christ, and in comparison of the knowledge of him, and
which he preferred to everything; and this he confirms by his
willingness to suffer the loss of all things for him; his ends in which
were, that he might win him, and be found in him, without his own
righteousness, that legal one the false teachers extolled, and with the
righteousness of God which faith receives, and is the only justifying
one; and that he might know more of him, feel more of his power, have
more fellowship with him, and conformity to him, \\#Php 3:8-10\\. His
view in all which was, that he might attain to that glorious and happy
state of the resurrection of the dead in Christ, \\#Php 3:11\\, and to
prevent mistakes, and anticipate an objection that might be made to
him, as if he ascribed perfection to himself in the present state, he
owns he had not arrived to it: all he meant was, that it was his desire
to enjoy that which Christ had laid hold on him for; in order to which
he buried in oblivion what was past, looking and pressing to things
before hint, even to Christ, and the glory he was called unto, which
was with him, \\#Php 3:12-14\\. Next follow various exhortations, as
to be of the same mind with the apostle in pressing after spiritual and
heavenly things, to which he exhorts those that had a greater knowledge
of them than others; and who, though otherwise minded, the apostle was
persuaded would have, the same revealed to them, \\#Php 3:15\\, and
both he exhorts, according to their different attainments, to walk by
the same rule and mind the same thing, \\#Php 3:16\\, and to be followers
of him, and of them that walked after his example, \\#Php 3:17\\,
giving this as a reason, because there were men who walked otherwise,
to the grief of him, to the dishonour of Christ, and to their own shame
and destruction, whom he describes as sensual and earthly minded men,
\\#Php 3:18,19\\, and to engage them to follow him, and others, and not
such persons, he draws a character of them opposite unto them; that
whereas the minds of those others were carnal and earthly, their minds
were spiritual and heavenly; their conversation was in heaven, and they
were waiting for Christ from hence, \\#Php 3:20\\, and the blessedness
they expect from him then, is the resurrection of their bodies, which
is illustrated by the efficient cause of it, Christ; the subject of it,
their vile bodies, as in this lifts, and in the grave; the exemplar and
pattern of it, the glorious body of Christ; and the means by which it
will be effected, the energy and power of Christ, who is omnipotent,
\\#Php 3:21\\.