1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. it is not uneasy to me to write what I have already said, and it is an advantage to you.
2 be upon your guard against snarlers, against the contrivances of the crafty, against the spurious breed;
3 for we are the genuine sons of Abraham, who worship God in the spiritual manner, and value no other dependance than that on Jesus Christ, without confiding in any external advantages:
5 being circumcised the eighth day, of the family of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew by descent, by sect a Pharisee.
6 if zeal is to be regarded, I persecuted the church; if the integrity prescrib'd by the law, I am without reproach;
8 nay I think them disadvantages when put in competition with the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord: for whose sake I abandon all these things, and count them as straw, that I may gain Christ,
9 and be his true disciple, not professing that justification, which is derived from the law, but that which is from the gospel,
10 the justification which God grants to those who acknowledge Christ and the power of his resurrection, who suffer after his example, and die to sin, as he died to the world,
12 for I am not yet secure of the prize, I have not yet finish'd my course: but I press to obtain the reward, which Jesus Christ invited me to.
13 I don't imagine, my brethren, that I am arriv'd at the goal; but this I do, unmindful of what is pass'd, I stretch towards that which is in view,
14 I press towards the mark for the prize to which God has called me from above by Jesus Christ.
15 Let us therefore, who have been instructed, have this in view: and if you are sollicitous about any thing else, God will reveal even that unto you.
16 in the mean while, as we are already advanc'd so far, pursue your course, and keep it still in view:
17 tread in my steps, my brethren, and fix your eyes upon those who follow the example I give you.
18 for there are many that wander about, of whom I have frequently told you, and now repeat it with tears, that they are enemies to the cross of Christ:
19 who in the. end will be ruin'd, who place their religion in sensuality, their glory in that which is their shame, and fix their thoughts upon this earth.
20 but we are the denisons of heaven, from whence we expect the saviour Jesus Christ our Lord.