1 So then, my brothers, keep on rejoicing in the Lord. It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you; indeed, it is for your safety.
2 Beware of the dogs! Beware of the evil workers! Beware of the mutilators!
3 For it is we who are the circumcision—we who worship in the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus. We have not placed any confidence in the flesh,
4 although I could have confidence in the flesh. If anyone thinks he can place confidence in the flesh, I have more reason to think so.
5 Having been circumcised on the eighth day, I am of the nation of Israel, from the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews. As far as the law is concerned, I was a Pharisee.
6 As far as zeal is concerned, I was a persecutor of the church. As far as the righteousness that is in the law is concerned, I was perfect.
7 But whatever things were assets to me, these I now consider a loss for the sake of Christ.
8 What is more, I continue to consider all these things as a loss for the sake of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. It is because of him that I have experienced the loss of all those things. Indeed, I consider them rubbish in order to gain Christ
9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through the faithfulness of Christ, the righteousness that comes from God and that depends on faith.
10 I want to know Christ—what his resurrection power is like and what it means to share in his sufferings by becoming like him in his death,
11 though I hope to experience the resurrection from the dead.
12 It's not that I have already reached this goal or have already become perfect. But I keep pursuing it, hoping somehow to embrace it just as I have been embraced by Christ Jesus.
13 Brothers, I do not consider myself to have embraced it. But this one thing I do: Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
14 I keep pursuing the goal to win the prize of God's heavenly call in Christ Jesus.
15 Therefore, those of us who are mature should think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will show you how to think.
16 However, we should live up to what we have achieved so far.
17 Join together in imitating me, brothers, and pay close attention to those who live by the example we have given you.
18 For I have often told you, and now tell you even with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.
19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their belly, and their glory is in their shame. Their minds are set on worldly things.
20 Our citizenship, however, is in heaven, and it is from there that we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
21 He will change our humble bodies and make them like his glorious body through the power that enables him to bring everything under his authority.