Philippians 3:1-16
Living According to the Divine Value System

Phil. 3:1

1. Finally: to loipon is a common idiom which indicates a variety of things from "conclusion" to "addition." Here, the best idea is that of "addition" as Paul is progressing in his exhortation to the church.

It is far from "conclusionary" in view of verse 4:8, "Rejoice in the Lord always."

The "addition" builds upon the issue of joyful occupation with the character and plan of God that Paul already mentioned.

A. Verses 2:17-18, Rejoicing in service opportunities and success.
B. Verses 2:28-29, Rejoicing at the arrival of Timothy.

2. my brethren: Paul consistently uses this as a term of mutual spiritual relationship, responsibility and exhortation.

3. rejoice in the Lord: chairo as a present active imperative, exhorts them to express a contented confidence in Christ. Chairo refers to inner joy that is based on being at peace. First comes peace; the absence of enmity and antagonism in the soul, and a total relaxation through understanding that God's character and plan has only the believer's benefit in view. The absence of enmity also excludes sin from being present in the life. Because the believer is "at peace" with God through trusting in Him for all matters of this life, he is able to truly find inner joy; a sense of direction, purpose and fulfillment no matter what comes his way. That is why Paul writes, "rejoice IN THE LORD." It is because all such joy is only a reality for the believer as he keeps his eyes focused on God's character and plan, and the Divine Value System for relating to everything that happens in life. Paul further discusses the basis for such joy at chapter 4:4-9, as he relates the connection between Faith-Rest and the peace of God.

4. Jesus taught the disciples about this quality of joy at John 11:15. "These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be fulfilled."

A. these things: This refers to all that Jesus had been teaching them in the context of the upper room discourse, starting back at chapter 13 concerning humility, love, knowledge of truth, fellowship and service.

B. My joy: refers to the quality of joy experienced by Jesus as He lived perfectly under the umbrella of Divine viewpoint, totally without sin, doing at all times those things that were pleasing to the Father (John 8:29).

C. In you: this indicates that the same quality of joy can be experienced by the believer as he heeds the words of Jesus and lives according to the "law of love," (John 14:23; 15:12).

D. Your joy fulfilled: This refers to the fulfillment of human happiness through adherence to the Divine Value System (God's standards for understanding and relating to everything in the universe).



A. The DVS is that set of standards that reflect God's viewpoint on everything in the universe.

That viewpoint determines what is most important, what is proper attitude, proper perspective, proper motivation and proper action. It is something that must be learned and is found, now, ONLY in the written revelation of God, The Bible.

B. There are two spheres to the DVS. One is morality and the other is worship.

1. Morality is God's protocol for the entire human race.

Its purpose is to provide freedom and stability within human society by establishing the standards needed for proper interaction between members of the human race. God's morality protocol is structured under 5 separate paragraphs. Personal freedom, marriage, family, nationalism and Environment.

2. Worship refers to the protocol that God designed for relating to Him. That protocol contains two sets of operating procedures, one for time and one for eternity.

God's protocol for time has five paragraphs dealing with Relationship, Fellowship, Growth, Imitation and Service.

God's protocol for eternity has three paragraphs dealing with Resurrection, Reward and Service.

C. The DVS is designated in scripture by three terms.

1. The Truth: with emphasis on the factual content of the DVS.
2. The Faith: with emphasis on the thinking technique (faith) which is the only way to utilize the DVS. This term also focuses on the content of the DVS from the standpoint of what is believed.

3. The Love: with emphasis on the character structure which is built within the soul as a result of adhering to the DVS.

D. The general outline of the DVS is found at Philip. 4:8, where we find 6 factors around which the DVS revolves; factors that are characterized by being consistent with Divine integrity (virtue) and by bringing glory to God (worthy of praise).

1. Truth: the only absolute truth is that revealed by God in His word.
Occupation with the written word.

2. Spiritual integrity: Worship consistency.

3. Righteousness: A reflection of God's standards of righteousness as detailed in the written law. God's system of morality.

4. Purity: sinless consistency by reflecting the 15 virtues of love (1 Cor. 13:4-7).

5. Christian affability: Promoting rapport and peace.

6. Testimonial impact: Consistency as a salt and light influence in the world.


6. To write the same things to you: Paul brings up a very important principle; the principle of repetition. Paul feels it is important to emphasize the presence of false teachers who appear in sheep's clothing, so that they look like friends, but are really enemies.

He mentioned this already at 1:15 and 17 as well as 2:21. In addition, at verse 3:18, Paul makes reference to his "oft repeated" warning about the false teachers, "for many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, as enemies of the cross of Christ."

The presence and influence of false teachers, especially those "from among your own selves" (Acts 20:30), is a great concern and is addressed by most of the New Testament writers.

A. By Jesus: Mat. 24:11
B. By Paul: Acts 20:29-30
C. By Peter: 2 Peter 2:1-3
D. By Jude: Jude 4
E. By John: 1 John 2:18-19; 4:1

7. is no trouble to me: oknāros (an adjective) means to be lazy, or reticent to do something. With the negative in front, it means that the thing in view is NOT something that I am lazy about, reticent to do, or in some way "bothered" about. Thus the translation, "not troublesome to me." In other words, to REPEAT myself is not something I am reticent to do or somehow too "lazy" to do. This is an attitude that recognizes the need of the other person and does not say, "oh, I told you once - that's enough." He is communicating the attitude that Peter mentions at 2 Peter 1:13-15.

"And I consider it a righteous thing, as long as I am in this (earthly) body,
to work you up by way of a reminder."

8. and it is a safeguard for you: asphalās (adjective) means safe, secure, stable and should be translated, "but to you, stabilizing."

Wuest translates it as "safe," but the idea here is not so much "safety" as it is stability in the face of a crisis.

This information will contribute to their stability as they encounter the various false teachers who are infiltrating now and will infiltrate later.

Phil. 3:2 Warning against the Judaistic false teachers

1.Beware: Present active imperative of blepo, which means to look, thus the idea of "look out for" or "Beware."

2. of the dogs: In the ancient world were found both domestic and wild dogs. The domestic dog is represented by the word, kunarion, which referred to a lap-dog or house-dog and is used at Mat. 15:26 where the woman speaks of the "little dogs" that eat scraps from the dinner table. The wild dog is represented by the word, kuon, which referred to a street scavenger, vicious and unclean. As such, the kuon serves as a perfect device for describing the false teachers who prey on the weak.

A. The term "dogs" is used to describe the character of those Gentile unbelievers who oppressed Jesus during the crucifixion.

Ps. 22:16, For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet.

Ps. 22:20, Deliver my soul from the sword, My only {life} from the power of the dog.

B. The term is used to describe false teachers who have no truth, but operate on selfish greed and oppression.

Isa. 56:11, "And the dogs are greedy, they are not satisfied. And they are shepherds who have no understanding; They have all turned to their own way, Each one to his unjust gain, to the last one."

C. Used to describe David's enemies who are continually searching for him like dogs, wandering and howling looking for food.

Ps. 59:6, 14-15, "They return at evening, they howl like a dog, And go around the city. They wander about for food, and growl if they are not satisfied."

D. Jesus uses the term to describe those who are in rebellion against God and have no capacity to receive the valuable truths designed only for those who really want them.

Matt. 7:6, "Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Paul uses the word dog, for just such a correlation. The false teachers who are operating on the premise that the Gentile believers must keep the rituals of the law, including circumcision are described by the next two terms.

3. beware of the evil workers: kakos ergatās

A. kakos refers to the character of these "workers" and not what it is they are working. Indeed they are working evil, but that is described by ponāros, which refers to an aggressive, infectious evil that seeks to dominate everything around it. This type of evil is expressed at 2 Tim. 3:13, "But EVIL men (ponāros) and impostors will progress to the worse degree, deceiving and being deceived."

B. Workers describes what they do. They think the are honoring God and honoring the truths that God gave to Israel, but they are distorting those truths and living a lie. The common term that has been used to describe these false teachers is, "Judaizers."

4. Beware of the concision: The word here is katatomā, and means a cutting into or mutilation. Our English word, concision, means a cutting INTO. It is a play on words with the real word for circumcision (peritomā, a cutting AROUND) and indicates what is really happening when these false teachers are distorting the gospel of Christ. Since God has not authorized the practice of circumcision for the church (Gal. 5:6; 6:15), those who insist upon it are not doing anything that has spiritual value or that is honoring to God. Instead, it produces a mutilation. Concerning these false teachers and their practice, Paul writes to the Galatians that he wishes those false teachers would just "cut themselves off." In chapter one of Galatians, Paul calls this a different gospel (Gal. 1:6-7).

It is necessary then, to fully understand the nature of these "Judaizers" so that we can understand the gravity of Paul's warning.

A. They taught "another" Jesus, a different spirit and a different gospel, which lured the believers away from devotion and purity toward Christ. (2 Cor. 11:3-4)

B. They were "false apostles and deceitful workers, disguised as servants of righteousness, but were actually promoting Satanic doctrine. (2 Cor. 11:13-15)

C. They taught a different gospel that "distorted" the gospel of Christ which amounted to desertion from God. (Gal. 1:6-7)

D. They were false brethren who tried to bring Christians into religious bondage by forcing upon them the Judaistic rituals, such as circumcision. (Gal. 2:3-4)

E. They were known as "the party of the circumcision" and tried to force Jewish Christians to shun Gentile Christians who were not circumcised, thus effectively forcing "Gentiles to live like Jews," which is not being "straightforward about the truth of the gospel." (Gal. 2:11-14)

F. They "deceived" Christians into a Christian life governed by the works of the law instead of the fruit of the Spirit, teaching that Christian maturity could only be achieved by faithfulness to the Mosaic regulations. (Gal. 3:1-5)

G. Their teaching hindered obedience to the truth and was considered "leaven" type doctrine from someone other than God who called them into salvation. (Gal. 5:1-9)

H. They were in the "soul collecting" business and found their success in compelling the Gentiles to be circumcised. (Gal. 6:12-16)

I. They taught that it was necessary to follow the dietary regulations of the law and the holidays of the law, including the sabbath ritual. (Col. 2:16-17)

J. They are designated as dogs, evil workers and those who cause a physical mutilation by forcing Gentiles to be circumcised. (Phil. 3:2)

We thus return to Paul's discussion and find the reason he calls their endeavors a "mutilation." It is because the "true" circumcision is by the Spirit of God and involves a cutting off of the human value system as promoted by the sin nature and replacing it with the Divine Value System.

Phil. 3:3

1.for we are the {true} circumcision: Paul suggests that there is a "true" circumcision, but his teachings indicate that "physical" circumcision has no value in Christianity.

1Cor. 7:19, "Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but {what matters is} the keeping of the commandments of God."

Gal. 5:6, "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love."

Gal. 6:15, "For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation."

Indeed, he speaks of an "inward" circumcision that determines the reality of worshiping in the Spirit.

Rom. 2:28-29, "For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God."

This "inward" circumcision refers to the "positional" deliverance from the sin nature, and the potential for experiential deliverance over sin and human viewpoint. Col. 2:11,

"And in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;"

This "spiritual" or "inward" circumcision is suggested by the next term that indicates true spirituality independent from physical circumcision.

2. who worship in the Spirit of God: present active participle of latreuo indicates "priestly" service.

This is the only way God is pleased with our worship and the only way we can find personal fulfillment in our Christian ambassadorship.

Rom. 14:17-18, "He who in THIS WAY (through the Spirit) serves Christ, is pleasing to God."

John 4:24, they that worship God must do so "in Spirit and in Truth."


But to emphasize the Mosaic ordinances, indeed, any "appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body," (Col. 2:23) has absolutely NO VALUE against the lustful indulgences of the sin nature (flesh).

This is what the Judaizers did and they had drifted off course from grace (Gal. 5:4).

3. and glory in Christ Jesus: The verb, kauchaomai (present middle participle) means to find confidence in something to the point of boasting and exalting in the peace and joy that results.

This is summarized at 1 Cor. 2:26-31.

4. and put no confidence in the flesh: the perfect active participle of peitho expresses total confidence and trust. They were placing their trust in the performance of various Mosaic rituals in order to establish salvation, on the one hand, and to procure spiritual maturity on the other.

Phil. 3:4

1. although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh.
If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh:

Paul appeals to his Jewish heritage and his advancement in Judaism to indicate that if there were some merit in "clinging" to these things, then he would certainly have reason to do so.

2. I far more: Paul then lists his "religious" credentials that constituted his progress in Judaism as per Gal. 1:14.

"and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions."

If there were really spiritual merit to be found in this, then Paul, who was very high in his achievements, would certainly be one to cling to them and claim the prestige and merit which was suggested. But he does not, for he has come to recognize what salvation "by grace" really means and what living by faith really means.

Phil. 3:5-6, He mentions 7 areas of confidence and pride that in the mind of the Judaistic Jew was the key to salvation.

1. RITUAL pride: circumcised the eighth day, Acts 15:1
2. NATIONAL pride: of the nation of Israel, God's "chosen" people -

3. FAMILY pride: of the tribe of Benjamin,
The Tribe that remained loyal to David; greatest tribe next after Judah.

4. RACIAL pride: Hebrew of Hebrews,
John 8:33, "Abraham's offspring." (Gal. 2:15)

5. RELIGIOUS pride: as to the Law, a Pharisee, School of Gamaliel (Acts 22:3).

6. PERFORMANCE pride: as to zeal, a persecutor of the church,
Killing the enemies of "truth."

7. SINLESS pride: as to the righteousness which is in the Law,
found blameless.

Phil. 3:7

1. But whatever things were gain to me: Paul made an initial salvation decision to trust in Christ as the Messiah/Savior. He was convicted of his antagonism toward God and Christ when Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus. Acts 9:3-6; 22:6-10; 26:12-18

Saul of Tarsus was not converted at that time. He first went to Damascus and met with Ananias who gave the specifics of the gospel so he could "call upon the name of Christ" and be saved (Acts 9:10-17; 22:12-16).

2. those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ:

This represents that salvation decision; a decision that involved evaluating what was holding him back from faith in Christ, and rejecting it. Thus, for him to trust in Christ, he had to immediately make a value decision to turn away from his religious traditions that were based on a works system and embrace salvation by grace through faith. At verse 8, Paul tells us that he perpetuates the same evaluation he made concerning trust in Christ as savior into his everyday life. It is an evaluation that recognizes knowledge of Christ to be of far greater value than all the religious and human good endeavors of Judaism.

The passage before us is not dealing with getting saved or staying saved. It is about growth, fellowship, service and rewards. Even the resurrection issue of verse 11, has in view "a better resurrection" (Heb. 11:35), and the abundant entrance into the kingdom mentioned at 2 Peter 1:11. This does not refer to the FACT of a resurrection, but a resurrection characterized by reward; the "praise, glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ," (1 Peter 1:7).

3. The things that were gain: kerdos

The word refers to something that is advantageous, helpful, beneficial; something that adds to one's stature.
In the spiritual arena, these are things that you think contribute to your spiritual well-being and commend you to God; things that add "worth" or merit, both in the eyes of God and people; Paul's list of "7" found at verses 5-6.

4. I counted: hāgeomai in a perfect middle indicative which indicates a value decision made in the past with results that affect his life in a very dramatic way right now.

The verb means to lead or to consider. It thus communicates the idea of holding to an opinion that you view as "leading" or being better than the other options involved. It becomes both a "value" word and a "priority" word.

It involves making a value decision concerning two different groups of standards.

The term, "as loss," is zāmia and refers to something that is damaged, lost, forfeited or something that is not beneficial. Paul recognized that his list of 7 added up to a negative value factor in relating to God, and that identification with Christ through trusting Him as the Messiah, added up to a positive value factor with both temporal and eternal benefit.

Phil. 3:8

Application of the value decision to the Christian life.

1. More than that also: alla menouge (men ou ge) kai -- these 5 little words express the intensity of Paul's thoughts on this subject. This intensity reflects the extreme importance of remaining aloof from human viewpoint value systems and adhering strictly to the divine value system which functions on faith in God's word.

The evaluation of the inadequacy of his former belief system relates to more than just salvation. For that belief system is equally inadequate for fulfilling any of the Christian goals for remaining here on earth.

2. I count all things to be loss:

Here, he uses the same "evaluation" word, hāgeomai, but as a present middle indicative, which indicates that the past decision to let go of what was deemed inadequate, is perpetuated into his experience on earth on a daily basis. It indicates a total rejection of those human viewpoint standards in every area of life. Furthermore, the "all things" goes beyond those "religious" standards of his upbringing, and includes all pleasures and luxuries that He regarded as valuable. Saul was from a very wealthy family in Tarsus and not only would he have been "disowned" by his family, but probably disinherited as well.

The phrase, "to be loss," is once again, the present infinitive of eimi (to be) plus the noun zāmia, which, as we have seen, indicates something that is no longer a pertinent factor in one's life; either gone, inaccessible, or deemed as totally invaluable and in fact quite detrimental to one's chosen value system.

3. in view of: dia + accusative = because of

This introduces the REASON for rejecting what he had previously valued. He found something more valuable.

4. the surpassing value: substantive use of the present participle of huperecho. The meaning is to have or possess a superiority of some kind over something else (to surpass or excel). The substantive idea then, is that which is better than or has greater value than something else. Throughout this entire passage, a comparison is being made between The Divine Value System (DVS) and the pseudo value man finds in the religious, philosophical and materialistic things of this world.

5. of knowing: the NASB translation here, makes this sound as though it were an "experience" of knowing or having a relationship with Jesus. However, the Greek has the noun, gnosis, and should be rendered, "because of the knowledge of Christ. . ." (as with the KJV).

It is contrasting the pursuit of divine viewpoint "knowledge" as the standards for the DVS, with the human viewpoint endeavors of religion, philosophy and materialism. The value is found in learning about the character and plan of God as embodied and proclaimed in the person of Christ, and revealed to us in the written canon of Scripture.

Knowledge has virtue! Yes, this has been distorted and abused, but so has everything else. Everywhere, Paul exalts the pursuit and possession of knowledge - knowledge about God's character and plan; knowledge that cultivates within the believer both righteousness and devotion to God. However, knowledge without the filling/control of the Holy Spirit and without the by-product of love in the believer, is knowledge that engenders pride, anger and strife. Paul writes at 1 Cor. 8:1, "Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up." This does not minimize the pursuit and possession of knowledge at all. It indicates that for even God's knowledge to have value and impact in the life, it must be accompanied by love. Paul is not giving us an "either/or" situation (knowledge vs. love) but teaching that knowledge WITH love is what has value.

The source of all character stability and abundant life reality is the possession of knowledge and discernment (Philip. 1:9-11).

See Topic: The Pursuit of Knowledge

6. Christ Jesus my Lord: This is simply a variation on the standard title for the Messiah, The Lord Jesus Christ. Paul personalizes it by writing, "my Lord," but the force remains the same.

CHRIST: christos means anointed one and specifically refers to the Messiah (Hebrew, mishiyach - for anointed one) promised throughout the Old Testament. It was established throughout the Old Testament that the Messiah would in fact, be Yahweh come in the flesh.

JESUS: The Greek, iāsous, is simply the form for the Hebrew, Joshuah (yeshua) which means Yahweh saves. With this personal name assigned to the Messiah, we see His first advent mission clearly proclaimed.

Matthew 1:21, "And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins."

LORD: Kurios means the one in authority. In the context of the Jewish culture of Christ's time, for one to be called "kurios" was to be proclaimed deity. Thus we see at 1 Cor. 8:6, "yet for us there is but . . . one Lord, Jesus Christ. . ."


These three deity factors are proclaimed at His birth by the angel's message to the shepherds.

Luke 2:11, "for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."

And the resurrection of Jesus is what offers proof that these three deity factors can indeed, be claimed by Jesus.

Acts 2:36, "Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ -this Jesus whom you crucified."

Acts 17:31, "because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."

7. for whom (Lit: because of whom): This recognizes the principle that the believer remains here on earth FOR Him, as His ambassador and to bring glory to Him (Rom. 14:8; 1 Cor. 6:19-20; 2 Cor. 5:9, 20).

8. I have suffered the loss of all things: The verb, zāmioo (aorist passive indicative), indicates that Paul has forfeited any value that can be assigned to those religious and material things.

A. Examples for Paul: 1 Cor. 9:4-5

1. Verse 4, eat and drink
2. Verse 5, marriage

B. But the context of verse 5 indicates that this is a personal issue with Paul and not a commanded pattern for all believers.

C. Apply the principles of 1 Cor. 7:28-35

9. and evaluate them: hāgeomai again (present middle indicative), to indicate a priority decision. The present tense emphasizes a moment-by-moment value decision that should characterized every believer's life (verse 15).

10. (to be) rubbish: skubalon was used for refuse, rubbish, dirt, dung and I suppose any other item that fits into that general category. The idea behind this word is that the thing in view is totally without value and useless. This is an emphatic confirmation of viewing something as "loss," in that, instead of just transferring value to a different set of standards, it also totally devalues the things left behind. The strong language here indicates the intensity of Paul's attitude -- there is no regret and no remorse.

This does not mean that one cannot participate in the material things of this life, for Paul indicates that it is quite proper to have an abundance of such things and even be rich, as long as one does not place his confidence on those things, but on God who is the source (1 Tim. 6:17).

11. in order that I may gain Christ: We have a standard purpose clause (hina + subjunctive mood) used here to indicate the purpose/goal/result of Christian growth. The verb kerdaino (aorist active subjunctive) corresponds with kerdos (gain) in verse 7 and establishes a replacement value system. This idea of "gain" is not talking about "possessing" something, but rather, finding that which has greatest value in life. Jesus Christ (His character and His word) represents that greatest value in life, which I designate as the divine value system (DVS).

A. Christ dwelling in the heart: Eph. 3:16-19
B. Christ formed in you: Gal. 4:19

The Divine Value System is that set of standards that reflects God's viewpoint on everything in the universe. That viewpoint determines what is most important, what is proper attitude, proper perspective, proper motivation and proper action.

It is described in many different ways throughout the entire bible, but Paul summarizes it at Philippians 4:8 with the 6 value factors that govern our Christian life.

A. Truth: Whatever things are true.

Love rejoices with the truth: 1 Cor. 13:6
The goal: 2 Cor. 13:8, "for we can do nothing against the truth."

B. Spiritual (worship) integrity: Whatever is honorable (semnos, the character expressed by one who is eusebās - a dedicated worshiper of God).

C. Righteousness: Whatever is dikaios

D. Purity: Whatever is hagnos (sinless consistency). Consistent fellowship with God.

E. Affability: Whatever is prosphilās (friendly, agreeable, civil)
Promoting peace and unity. Open to others; kind, concerned, helpful.

Romans 12:18, "if it is possible, as much as depends on you, be at peace with all men."

F. Testimonial impact: Consistency as a salt and light influence in the world.
The word is euphāmos, and means well-sounding, appealing.
It thus relates to your impact on others.

Gaining Christ as one's new value system, then enables the believer to gain knowledge in 3 spheres of Christian activity (verse 10); Him, Power and service.

Adherence to the DVS produces righteousness, peace and joy (Rom. 14:17). When we make the DVS our standard for what is valuable in life, then the result will ultimately be a production of Christ's righteousness in our life.

RIGHTEOUSNESS is the direct result of pursuing God's truth, which is the only barometer for what truly constitutes righteousness in God's eyes.

Phil. 3:9

This should probably be viewed as a parenthetical since it discusses the ultimate goal of finding the "value" (gain) of Christ. Accordingly, a suggested translation, passing over verse 9 would read: "and evaluate them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ, so that I may come to know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings by being conformed to His death."

By way of explanation, the three knowledge factors mentioned in verse 10, do NOT result from having righteousness, but from understanding and adhering to the divine value system (gaining Christ). Then righteousness results from success in attaining to those three knowledge factors.

This verse sounds very close to what Paul discusses elsewhere as the "imputed" righteousness that the believer receives at the very moment of salvation (JUSTIFICATION). However, the context here, is talking about the "experience" of righteousness in the believer's life after salvation.

The righteousness that is reflected through the filling/control of the Holy Spirit and application of God's word in every area of life.

This is what Paul talks about at 2 Timothy 3:16, that the word of God provides "instruction in righteousness." And what he earlier mentioned in this letter at verses 1:9-11, where purity in motive (sincere) and inoffensiveness (blameless) are the result of reflecting righteousness in the life (filled with the fruit of righteousness), which in turn results from consistency in beneficent love as the believer grows in full knowledge (epignosis) and discernment.

1. and: This is the "ultimate" goal of making the divine value system your standard. As the believer "gains" the standards of Christ's viewpoint, the Divine Value System, and participates in the three functional results, the ultimate manifestation in the believer's life will be a reflection of Christ's own righteousness; the righteousness of God.

2. may be found in Him:

The idea of "found in Him" is an idiom that communicates the idea of demonstrating in one's life a particular characteristic. In other words, as a person examines the life of the believer, what needs to be observed is a righteousness that reflects God's love and not man's self-centered, fleshly lusts. Peter expresses this very idea at 1 Pet. 2:11-12. Above and beyond the believer's salvation STATUS, it is his own volition that determines the reality of whether "light" (God's righteousness) will be reflected in the life or not (Eph. 4:1; 5:8; Mat. 5:14-16).

3. not having a righteousness of my own derived from {the} Law:

This refers to a "human good" type of righteousness. It is a claim to personal merit and virtue by keeping the "overt" mandates of some kind of religious code. In the context of the early church, that religious code was usually the Mosaic law and the various distortions and additions that were added to it. The indictment on human righteousness that is found at Isaiah 64:6 is without exception and it relates both to righteousness in regard to "getting saved" as well as righteousness in regard to "service" (good works - Eph. 3:10) after salvation.

4. but that which is through faith in Christ. the righteousness which {comes} from God on the basis of faith:

This is talking about being vindicated by God based on living the Christian way of life through faith. This is not talking about salvation faith. Paul teaches us that we should continue to walk in the same way that we were saved. Col. 2:6, "As you therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, be walking in Him."

We were saved by faith, we are to live by faith. The function is the same, it is the object that changes. For salvation we have faith in the Person and work of Christ, the LIVING Word. After salvation we live by faith in the WRITTEN word, the bible. And success in that, produces a reflection of Christ's righteousness in our lives.

(Rom. 14:14-23; 15:13; Gal. 5:4-6)


Phil. 3:10

The functional result of having Christ's righteousness reflected in our life is a "knowledge" participation with Him in three areas.

This verse begins with an infinitive to continue from the purpose clause at the end of verse 8, "that I may gain Christ." It is used to indicate the 3 functional results of gaining Christ or what is accomplished when one lives by the standards of Christ (the Divine value system). The characteristic of divine righteousness, which is to be reflected in one's life through the reflection of beneficent love, is the ultimate goal of gaining Christ. But the functional means by which righteousness is thus fulfilled is knowledge of Divine content, power and sacrifice.

1. That I may know: Know is the verb ginosko, as an aorist active infinitive, which is used to indicate the result of successfully cultivating His righteousness in the life, thus maintaining sinless consistency as the sin nature is controlled.

2. HIM: Coming to a "full-knowledge" of Christ.
This is what Paul talks about in more detail in Ephesians.

A. Eph. 1:18

1. The hope of His calling: Salvation knowledge
2. The wealth of the glory of his inheritance: information about eternity.
(3. the surpassing greatness of His power)


B. Eph. 3:17-19 - Christ dwelling in the heart (gaining Christ)

1. Academics: width, length, height and depth -
This refers to understanding about God's plan in its entirety.

2. Love of Christ: functional knowledge for living the Christian life. (1 John 2:3-11)


C. Ephesians 4:13, Paul states the goal of growth.

1. Until we all attain to the unity of the faith:
A functional unity based on the seven "unity doctrines" of Eph. 4:4-6.

2. And of the full-knowledge of the Son of God:
This is the width, length, height and depth of the plan of God.

3. To a complete man, to the measure of maturity which is the fullness of Christ.
This is the point of consistency where our life is actually characterized by Christ's love and thus, His righteousness.


3. and the POWER of His resurrection:

That is, the very power of the Holy Spirit that is behind the resurrection of Christ (Eph. 1:19; Rom. 1:4; 15:13).

See Topic: Resurrection of Christ: Summary

This is talking about accessing and depending on the power source of the Holy Spirit and God's word to subjugate the sin nature and produce the love of Christ in our life.

It is the Holy Spirit who works within us through the Word, that allows us to rise above the fleshly lusts (Romans 8:4-15; Gal. 5:16-25; 1 Pet. 2:11; Heb. 3:13; Rom. 7:24-25).

Eph. 3:20, "the power that works within us," refers to the dynamics we have through the Holy Spirit and God's word in the soul that enables us to live consistently, shining as lights in the world (Philip 2:15).

4. and the FELLOWSHIP of His sufferings:

The word koinonia is used to indicate our participation in ambassadorship activity, through which we share the "stigma" of the cross (His sufferings, 1 Pet. 2:23; Heb. 12:2-3) in association with Christ. This emphasis is on the "spirit" of partnership as we accept the responsibility we have as ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20).

5. being conformed to His death: As the believer represents Christ by being a light-bearer (Philip. 2:15), he comes under the same persecution activity that led to the crucifixion of Christ. The verb, summorphidzo, indicates a "physical" participation in persecution death, which is ALWAYS the goal of the persecutors, if not the actual result. We thus find ourselves (in the most extreme of persecution situations) confronting death for the cause of Christ (Romans 8:36-37). Paul said of this in reference to himself, "I die daily," (1 Cor. 15:30-31).

Peter calls it, sharing "the sufferings of Christ," (1 Pet. 4:13).

Jesus told us of the certainty of such suffering at John 15:20-21, and Paul follows suit (2 Tim. 3:12; Philip. 1:29).

As the church age progresses, there will be generations and geographical locations that are spared extreme persecution, however, ultimately, the body of Christ on the earth (the church) will undergo the most extreme period of persecution that has ever yet or ever will be directed against God's people. Jesus calls this "great tribulation" and not only associates it with the midpoint of Daniel's 70th week, but also says it will come to a close at His 2nd coming to the earth (Mat. 24:15-31). From the inception of the church in 30 AD, Christians will undergo great persecution (Mat. 10:16-20) and it will continue to a lesser or greater degree right up until Christ's return for His Elect (Mat. 10:21-23). Accordingly, the "present" persecution of Christians (such as those at Thessalonica) will eventually make transition over into the final period of persecution of the great tribulation. It is because of this fact that Paul could comfort the Thessalonians concerning their present affliction (tribulation), telling them that God would "give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire," (2 Thes. 1:6-10). In other words, the great tribulation of the end times could indeed begin while Paul and the Thessalonians were yet living. In such a case, that generation would fulfill the many prophecies concerning the end times. However, if the end times period does not begin for them (as indeed was the case), the principle of deliverance from affliction (through rapture of the church) remains valid to whatever generation IS alive during the end times.

Phil. 3:11 The reward of a better resurrection

1. in order that: ei pos is a conditional construction that occurs here, with a future active indicative of the verb. The indicative mood suggests certainty, while the word "pōs," suggests potential. The balance comes when we realize that the certainty of resurrection is a promise guaranteed to all who have trusted in Christ (Rom. 8:9-11; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; Phil. 3:21; 2 Tim. 4:18 with 1 Thes. 5:24), whereas the "quality" of resurrection, or more precisely, the quality of "function" after possession of the resurrection body, is dependent on one's quality of faithfulness to God while living here on earth.

See Topic: REWARDS

2. I may attain to: The verb, katantao, as a future active indicative refers to the reaching of a goal. The context must determine the nature of this goal. Whether it refers to the "fact" of attainment or the "quality" of attainment, requires the diligent comparison of Scripture with Scripture. The Bible speaks not only of an entrance into the kingdom of God, but an "abundant" entrance. It not only tells us about the future reality of resurrection, but also speaks about a "better" resurrection.

3. the resurrection from the dead: It sounds like Paul is speaking of acquiring the "status" of resurrection based on diligence in adhering to the Divine Value System. Since resurrection is part and parcel of our salvation (John 6:39-40), this "appearance" suggests salvation by works. That of course, is not the case. Resurrection is indeed a promised future reality, secured for the believer by the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13-14; Rom. 6:4-8; 8:11; 2 Cor. 5:1-5) and is in under no threat of loss (Romans 8:29-30).

However, the Bible does teach us about rewards and the fact that the quality of rewards are dependent on one's faithfulness here on earth.

Peter writes about an abundant entrance into the kingdom by advancing successfully in Christian growth (2 Pet. 1:11). He writes about receiving "praise, glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ," (1 Pet. 1:7). Hebrews speaks well of faithful Old Testament believers who pursued "a better resurrection," (Heb. 11:35). The Bible does mention that there will be degrees of function within the eternal state (Luke 19:12-27; Rev. 2:26; 2 Tim. 2:12).

Phil. 3:12

1. Not that I have already received: The verb is lambano (aorist active indicative) to indicate a present reality concerning this future reward. He thus indicates, that this "better resurrection" is still future and still undetermined concerning its final quality. That final quality will be determined at the reward seat of Christ, when all the "wood, hay and straw" (human good and sinful deeds) will be burned up in rejection, and the "gold, silver and jewels" (divine good activity performed under the filling/control of the Holy Spirit) will be rewarded.

Paul warns about being defrauded out of your reward at Col. 2:18.

"Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement
and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on {visions} he has seen,
inflated without cause by the mind of his flesh."


John writes about receiving a "full reward." 2 John 8,

"Watch yourselves, that you might not lose what we have accomplished,
but that you may receive a full reward."

Jesus warns about someone taking your crown. Rev. 3:11,

"I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have,
in order that no one take your crown."

Paul even talks of being disapproved (adokimos, which means to be evaluated as a failure) at 1 Cor. 9:27.

"But I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly,
after I have proclaimed to others, I myself should be disapproved."

2. or have already become perfect:

The verb is teleioo, which means to be complete or be brought to completion. It does not mean "perfect" the way that word is used in our English language today. It is used for maturity and consistency; efficiency of function; and completeness in contrast with something that is partial. In the perfect passive indicative, the focus is on a once and for all maturity, that has no longer any room for "human" growth. Paul talks about this at 1 Cor. 13:12, where we learn that when we are "face to face" with the Lord, "then we will know even as we are know." Thus, there will come a time when we as members of the human race, will reach the point of optimum human maturity. This is not to suggest that in eternity, there will be no more learning. Our "learning" then will be of an entirely different nature, but we will have attained to the place of optimum human completion, when we receive a body exactly like the body of Jesus. Because of the self-centeredness of the sin nature, people will often develop an attitude of superiority and think they have arrived at some kind of "sinless perfection", as is demonstrated by the Corinthians at 1 Cor. 4:8.

Paul is combating this trend, not only within himself, but within those who are reading this letter as well.

3. but I press on: In the meantime, here on earth, we must continue to pursue the things of God and "keep seeking the things above" as we advance to more spiritual consistency in this life. The word "press on," is dioko, which means to pursue or follow after intensely. The degree of that intensity is indicated by the fact that this is the word used for persecuting someone.

It occurs in the present active indicative, which indicates a continuous and diligent adherence to the Divine Value System as Paul seeks to fulfill his purpose of bringing honor and glory to God and through that success, experience eternal life blessings here on earth.

It is the same "pursuit" or diligence that Paul describes at 2 Tim. 2:15, and that Peter describes at 2 Peter 1:5.

4. in order that I may lay hold: katalambano is the verb (aorist active subjunctive) and indicates a firm grasp or hold onto something. Paul uses it for emphasis to describe the attaining of our goal for life on this earth - the glorification of God.

5. of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus:

Same verb, but now as an aorist passive indicative to indicate the "point of time" when Jesus grabbed a hold of Paul (Saul of Tarsus) at the moment of his conversion to Christianity through trust in Christ.

This indicates that there was a specific purpose why Christ "grabbed" onto Paul. We can view this purpose as personal, applying to Paul alone, or we can view it as general, and apply it to all believers who have been called to bring glory to God through Christ. Of course, as Paul fulfills his "specific" purpose as an apostle of Jesus Christ, at the same time, he fulfills the "general" purpose for all believers to bring glory to God. This then, should be our primary application. The pursuit of Christian consistency through adherence to the Divine Value System so that in all things, in every area of our life, God will be glorified.

1Cor. 6:19-20, "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

This is why God saved us and left us here on earth as ambassadors for Christ instead of taking us home to heaven.


Phil. 3:13

1. Brethren: Paul consistently uses this as a term of mutual spiritual relationship, responsibility and exhortation.

2. I do not regard myself: This time Paul uses logidzomai (only here and 4:8 in this book) to indicate a logical decision based on understanding the standards of the DVS. This is a humility attitude that acknowledges that there is always room for progress. Paul says that he has not at this time reached his "better resurrection." He has not done all that can be done to serve God and store up rewards that honor Him.

3. as having laid hold of {it} yet: there is always room for advance and improvement. We should always be in a "growth" mode here on earth. We should always be pushing toward more consistency in fellowship and service. The verb, "laid hold," is katalambano (perfect Active indicative) used as in verse 12, but here, the perfect tense suggests complete arrival.

4. but one thing {I do}: hen de - emphatic to express priority orientation to the Divine Value System.

5. forgetting: epilanthanomai, as a present middle participle, communicates a standard operating procedure for maintaining spiritual focus.

6. The things behind: in context, this refers to the standards of one's past value system. Although the believer may make an initial decision to adopt the DVS, the standards of the old value system will continue to influence the soul -- if for no other reason than because the selfish lusts of the sin nature are waging war against it (Rom. 7:23; 1 Pet. 2:11).

The believer must continually confront the standards of human viewpoint and expose and reject them based on understanding and embracing the DVS. Humility recognizes the power of the sin nature and the pseudo value of the human value system, and does not let down his guard.
He needs to continually -----

A. Build new standards: Rom. 12:2; Col. 3:16a
B. Tap the encouragement resources of other believers: Heb. 3:13; Col. 3:16b
C. Make active decisions to reject the human value system.
Col. 2:8; 3:2; 1 Thes. 5:20-22; 1 Tim. 6:20

There is a secondary application here, that takes all failures and relegates them to the past. Guilt over past sins and failures has no place in the Christian mind. If the sin(s) has genuinely been confessed as per 1 John 1:9, then it is forgiven by God. If the believer dregs it up from his past to be a prick of guilt and/or bitterness, then he through this attitude, sins anew and quenches the control of the Holy Spirit. It is one of the many sins that fall into the category of "whatever is not of faith," (Rom. 14:23). When we bring back to the present some sin that we have confessed to God, and feel guilty about it, we are doubting the character and word of God that says we are forgiven. Leave the past in the past and use it only as a teaching aid for better and wiser decisions in the present.

7. and reaching forward: The verb, epekteinomai (present middle participle) indicates the positive side of the equation. The verb expresses an intense pursuit of a goal and echoes the diligence of 2 Tim. 2:15 and 2 Pet. 1:5; and the strong desire of 1 Pet. 2:2.

The present participle further establishes the S.O.P. for advancing in the Christian life by indicating the "constant" attitude that should be motivating the believer.

8. to what {lies} ahead: What is behind is the human value system.

What is ahead is the better resurrection. The reaching out is the mechanics of achieving that better resurrection (honor, praise and glory). It refers to adherence to the DVS.

To recap:

We reject the HVS
We embrace the DVS
Which is reaching out to spiritual reward and the better resurrection.

Phil. 3:14

Reaching out to the better resurrection through adherence to the DVS, is described as advancing to the prize.
The prize is a better resurrection characterized by the rewards of praise, glory and honor (1 Peter 1:7).
The prize is NOT our salvation, but the reward that should result from our salvation being lived out ("worked out," Philip. 2:12) here on earth.

This then is the purpose for our salvation (our calling) -- the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus. That is why we have been saved and why after salvation we have been left here on earth (1 Cor. 9:24-27).

1. I press on: The word here is dioko and means to pursue intensely. The degree of that intensity is indicated by the fact that this is the word used for persecuting someone. Again, the present active indicative describes the "constant" activity of using the standards of the Divine Value System as our guide to spiritual victory here on earth.

2. toward the goal: (CT: According to the standard of what is focused upon). This prepositional phrase occurs FIRST in the sentence.

A. kata is the preposition of norm and standard. As he pursues the purpose for his life on earth as an ambassador for Christ, he continually operates on the standards of the Divine Value System.

B. skopos. This noun is from the verb, skopeo, which means to focus on something. It thus indicates the item upon which someone is focused - a goal, or a standard to follow - the focal point. The focal point is the Divine Value System.

CT: according to the standard of the focal point, I press on toward the prize

(C. Kata introduces an adverbial phrase; eis indicates the direction of the verb, "press on.")

3. for the prize: eis is the preposition of direction; toward, to, unto. The word prize is brabeion and represents the 3 categories of reward mentioned at 1 Peter 1:7.

A. praise: epainos - overt laudation, applause, commendation, recognition. The verbal accolades - Mt. 10:32-33; 2 Tim. 2:11-13
cf. 1 Jn. 2:28 (confidence and no shame before Him).

B. glory: doxa - Probably best to take this as a reference to the three crowns.

1. Crown of glory: 1 Pet. 5:2-4
2. Crown of righteousness: 2 Tim. 4:7-8
3. Crown of life: Rev. 2:10; Jas. 1:12

C. honor: timā - the prestige and honor of special reigning assignments in the kingdom and throughout eternity.

1. All believers: 1 Cor. 6:2; Rev. 5:10
2. different responsibilities based on production in time.
Rev. 2:26; 2 Tim. 2:12

4. of the upward calling: Most commentators want to make this a "calling" that follows salvation and urges us to advance "upward" as at Col. 3:1-2 (where "ano" is used as well) and the prize results from success in advancing and EXPERIENCING that "upward" calling. But it seems more likely that the "prize" is that potential benefit which results from our status and participation in our "salvation" CALLING (salvation status).

A. The word "of" comes from the case of the noun "calling." The genitive case has many different functions and most of the time we are dependent on the context for understanding, and even then, it is often left ambiguous. The key here, appears to be the meaning and use of the noun, "calling" (klāsis). The word occurs 11 times in the New Testament and always directly relates to our salvation status; the adjective, klātos occurs 11 times and always refers to our salvation status except the two times Jesus uses it to indicate a universal salvation invitation at Mat. 20:16 (KJV only) and 22:14.

B. It seems more likely then, that Paul has in mind the STATUS of our salvation which SHOULD produce both the "pressing on" and the "prize" (reward). It is the "reward" that comes from or results from BEING SAVED -- IF the believer pursues the Divine Value System, remains in fellowship and fulfills his ambassadorship responsibility as a representative of Christ here on the earth. The "prize" is NOT the possession of salvation (the calling), or the maintenance of salvation, but the reward for FULFILLING one's salvation. This is what Paul described earlier at verse 2:12, "work out (express to the outside) your own salvation" and what he meant at 1 Tim. 6:12, "take hold onto the eternal life to which you were called."

C. ". . .I press on toward the prize from (or PERTAINING TO) the upward calling of God . . ."

1. Upward is the adjective, ano, and refers to the "location" of our calling in Christ. It is designated as a "heavenly calling" at Hebrews 3:1 and "a holy calling" at 2 Tim. 1:9. Each place uses the noun, klāsis, and it refers to our salvation STATUS in union with Christ.

2. The emphasis with klāsis, is on the invitation from God. Sometimes the word group only speaks of that invitation, which is extended freely to all mankind. But the invitation MUST be accepted by faith in Christ. When a person trusts in Christ, he accepts the invitation (calling) from God, and is now viewed as someone "who has been invited AND has accepted." It thus, becomes another word to designate our relationship and status in the plan of God which is elsewhere designated as ELECTION. This word refers to the fact that when someone accepts the invitation (calling), God then gives him spiritual life (new birth) and CHOOSES (or elects) to make that person a member of the body of Christ, in union with Christ. That status of election involves in most cases, the responsibility to remain on the earth as an ambassador for Christ.


5. of God in Christ Jesus.

A. Of God - recognizes the Father as the authority and source.

1. Of our salvation: Rom. 8:28-30; 1 Cor. 1:30
2. And of our Christian life success: Philip. 2:12-13

B. In Christ, is the positional basis for our -

1. salvation status: Jude 1, "in Christ Jesus, preserved elect."
2. Christian life activity: Col. 2:6 - functional faith in Christ.

Phil. 3:15 Exhortation to humility

1. Therefore: based on understanding our purpose and the S.O.P. for fulfilling that purpose.

2. Let us who are mature: teleios is used here a little differently that it was at verse 12.

There, the perfect passive indicative, focuses on a once and for all maturity, that has no longer any room for "human" growth.

Here, Paul has in view a "functional" maturity in understanding and following the Divine Value System.

They are exhorted to express the same humility attitude that recognizes the need for continued growth.

3. have this attitude: CT, be thinking this. The verb phroneo means to think. The present active subjunctive is a "hortatory subjunctive," which exhorts the readers to join with the writer in a particular course of action. The word, "this" is a demonstrative pronoun that points back to the attitude and action Paul has emphasized as the S.O.P. for advance and function in the Christian life.
Recognition and adherence to the Divine Value System.

4. and if in anything you have a different attitude:

CT, and whoever of you are thinking differently.

The verb, phroneo again, but this time as a present active indicative, indicates the reality of non-conformity to the DVS. That nonconformity is expressed by the adverb, heterōs, which means differently than what he has just been writing about. There are some who have not as yet, perceived the absolutes involved with the DVS. They are apparently functional in the growth process and hopefully, will be receptive to God's guidance as He convicts them about priorities in their Christian life.

A. Any detail of life that distracts from the pursuit and application of the Divine Value System.

B. Any attitude that creeps in and distracts from our focus on grace and love.

5. God will reveal that also to you: The future active indicative of apokalupso, refers to the ever present conviction from God the Holy Spirit concerning the priorities of Christian growth and ambassadorship. God will use four things to convict the believer of his shortcomings.

A. The written word: Heb. 4:11-13; Eph. 3:4; Col 4:16
B. Pastors: Heb. 13:7, 17; 1 Cor. 14:3
C. Other believers: Heb. 3:13
D. And sometimes God uses divine discipline to get the erring believer's attention. Hebrews 12:11, "All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peace-producing fruit of righteousness."

See Topic: DISCIPLINE: on the believer


Phil. 3:16

1. however: this introduces the principle of absolutes. There is no room for compromise; no room for rationalization as we balance Christianity with the details of life. There are indeed, many pleasurable things in this life, which God has given to us "for enjoyment" (1 Tim. 6:18), but the value that we attach to those details, must never supersede the value that God's word and call holds for us (Mat. 6:19-34).

2. Unto that standard to which we have attained: The verb, phthano, as an aorist active indicative, indicates an "accomplished" progression in growth and understanding of God's character and plan. It refers then, to the "present" state of one's spiritual growth and appeals to that accomplishment as the basis for continued advance in the Christian life. We always build upon what we have learned, starting with our initial faith in the gospel message. From that first expression of faith, we add the acceptance of moral integrity as necessary to maintain our functional fellowship with God. In other words, we deal with sin when it occurs and maintain fellowship through use of confession when needed (1 John 1:9).


From this position of strength of being "in fellowship," we focus on learning the FACTS of God's word and "add" knowledge to our soul. From this input of knowledge, the growth process progresses, building consistency in self-control, endurance, good-worship, brotherly rapport and THE love. And as long as these character expressions are "increasing" the believer will be "neither useless nor unfruitful in the sphere of the full knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."

This description of the growth process is found at 2 Peter 1:3-8.

3. let be living: The verb, stoicheo (present active infinitive) means to function according to an established order or standard. We should be ordering our life by the same standard to which we have attained.

In other words, the standards of the Divine Value System provide the parameters and guidelines for Christian living. And our progress of understanding regarding the Divine Value System is the basis for success as God's representatives here on earth. According to 2 Peter 1:8 spiritual growth is an ongoing process and as we are actively progressing in that process, we find success and production as servants of God. 2 Peter 1:8-10 (NASB).

"For if these {qualities} are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For he who lacks these {qualities} is blind {or} short-sighted, having forgotten {his} purification from his former sins.

Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble"

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