Letter to the Philippians
Do not turn back to the Jewish law
1 Finally, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord.
1 It is not a burden for me to write again the same things, and for you it is safer. 2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the bad workers; beware of the circumcised. 3 We are the true circumcised people since we serve according to the Spirit of God, and our confidence is in Christ Jesus rather than in our merits.
4 I myself do not lack those human qualities in which people have confidence. If some of them seem to be accredited with such qualities, how much more am I! 5 I was circumcised when eight days old. I was born of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin; I am a Hebrew, born of Hebrews. With regard to the Law, I am a Pharisee, 6 and such was my zeal for the Law that I persecuted the Church. As for being righteous according to the Law, I was blameless.
7 But once I found Christ, all those things that I might have considered as profit, I reckoned as loss. 8 Still more, everything seems to me as nothing compared with the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord. For his sake I have let everything fall away and I now consider all as garbage, if instead I may gain Christ. 9 May I be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the Law, but with the righteousness that God gives to those who believe.
10 May I know him and experience the power of his resurrection and share in his sufferings and be come like him in his death, 11 and attain through this, God willing, the resurrection from the dead!
12 I do not believe I have already reach ed the goal, nor do I consider myself perfect, but I press on till I conquer Christ Jesus, as I have already been conquered by him. 13 No, brothers and sisters, I do not claim to have claimed the prize yet. I say only this: forgetting what is behind me, I race forward and run towards the goal, 14 my eyes on the prize to which God has called us from above in Christ Jesus. 15 Let all of us who claim to be perfect have the same way of thinking, but if there is something on which you differ, God will make it clear to you. 16 Meanwhile, let us go forward from the point we have each attained.
17 Unite in imitating me, brothers and sisters, and look at those who walk in our way of life. 18 For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. I have said it to you many times, and now I repeat it with tears: 19 they are heading for ruin; their belly is their god and they feel proud of what should be their shame. They only think of earthly things.
20 For us, our citizenship is in heaven, from where we await the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Lord. 21 He will transfigure our lowly body, making it like his own body, radiant in Glory, through the power which is his to submit everything to himself.