1 Finally, my brothers, continue to be glad that you are in union with the Lord. I am not tired of writing you the same things over and over: it means your safety.
2 Look out for those dogs, those mischief-makers, those self-mutilators! 3 For we are the true circumcision, who by the Spirit of God worship Him, who take pride in Christ Jesus only, and do not rely on outward privileges, 4 though I too might rely on these. If anyone thinks that he can rely on outward privileges, far more might I do so: 5 circumcised when I was a week old; a descendant of Israel; a member of the tribe of Benjamin; a Hebrew, a son of Hebrews. Measured by the law, I was a Pharisee; 6 by the standard set by zeal, I was a persecutor of the church, and measured by the uprightness reached by keeping the law, I was faultless.
7 But for Christ's sake I have counted all that was gain to me as loss. 8 Yes, indeed, I certainly do count everything as loss compared with the priceless privilege of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have lost everything, and value it all as mere refuse, in order to gain Christ 9 and be actually in union with Him, not having a supposed right standing with God which depends on my doing what the law commands, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the real right standing with God which originates from Him and rests on faith. 10 Yes, I long to come to know Him; that is, the power of His resurrection and so to share with Him his sufferings as to be continuously transformed by His death, 11 in the hope of attaining, in some measure, the resurrection that lifts me out from among the dead.
12 It is not a fact that I have already secured it or already reached perfection, but I am pressing on to see if I can capture it, the ideal for which I was captured by Christ Jesus. 13 Brothers, I do not think that I have captured it yet, but here is my one aspiration, so forgetting what is behind me and reaching out for what is ahead of me, 14 I am pressing onward toward the goal, to win the prize to which God through Jesus Christ is calling us upward. 15 So let us all who are mature have this attitude. If you have a different attitude, God will make it clear to you. 16 However, we must continue to live up to that degree of success that we have already reached. 17 Follow my example, brothers, and keep your eyes on those who practice living by the pattern we have set you. 18 For there are many, of whom I have often told you, and now tell you in tears, who practice living as the enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their doom is destruction, their stomach is their god, their glory is in their shame, and their minds are feeding on earthly things, 20 But we are citizens of the republic in heaven, from which we are eagerly waiting for our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 He will so change the outward appearance of our lowly bodies that they will be like His glorious body, by the exertion of the power He has to subject everything to Himself.