We are the [true] circumcised people [of God] because we serve God's Spirit and take pride in Christ Jesus. We don't place any confidence in physical things,
although I could have confidence in my physical qualifications. If anyone else thinks that he can trust in something physical, I can claim even more.
I was circumcised on the eighth day. I'm a descendant of Israel. I'm from the tribe of Benjamin. I'm a pure-blooded Hebrew. When it comes to living up to standards, I was a Pharisee.
When it comes to being enthusiastic, I was a persecutor of the church. When it comes to winning God's approval by keeping Jewish laws, I was perfect.
These things that I once considered valuable, I now consider worthless for Christ.
It's far more than that! I consider everything else worthless because I'm much better off knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. It's because of him that I think of everything as worthless. I threw it all away in order to gain Christ
and to have a relationship with him. This means that I didn't receive God's approval by obeying his laws. The opposite is true! I have God's approval through faith in Christ. This is the approval that comes from God and is based on faith
that knows Christ. Faith knows the power that his coming back to life gives and what it means to share his suffering. In this way I'm becoming like him in his death,
with the confidence that I'll come back to life from the dead.
It's not that I've already reached the goal or have already completed the course. But I run to win that which Jesus Christ has already won for me.
Brothers and sisters, I can't consider myself a winner yet. This is what I do: I don't look back, I lengthen my stride, and