(1) Finally, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! I have no trouble writing the same things to you again, because it is a protection for your faith.
(2) Watch out for those filthy dogs—those evildoers and mutilators of the body (probably referring to certain Jews who insisted that non-Jews must be circumcised to be saved, and possibly keep other aspects of the law of Moses). (3) For it is Christians who are the true circumcision, because we serve (worship) God by the Holy Spirit, exult in Jesus Christ, and put no confidence in the flesh (probably referring to Jewish religious credentials).
Losing Everything to Know Jesus Christ
(4) I also have many reasons to put confidence in the flesh, so if others (referring to certain Jews in Philippi) think they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have much more.
(5) I was circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, from the tribe of Benjamin, and a Hebrew of Hebrews. (6) As far as keeping the law of Moses, I was a Pharisee. As for my religious zeal, I became a violent persecutor of the church. As for righteousness based on obeying the law of Moses, I was faultless.
(7) But now I consider my past religious gains as a total loss compared to knowing Christ. (8) More than that, I count everything a loss because nothing compares to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord. I have suffered the loss of everything for the sake of Jesus, and consider everything to be garbage (excrement) so that I can gain Christ (9) and be found in him—not having a righteousness of my own that I earned by keeping the law of Moses, but a righteousness that comes from God through faith in Christ. (10) For I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and to share in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, (11) and so, by any means possible attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Pressing on Toward the Future
(12) I have not already obtained all this; nor have I already arrived at my goal of perfection, but I press on to take hold of that for which Jesus Christ took hold of me. (13) My brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself as having taken hold of it yet, but one thing I do: forgetting the past, I keep pressing on toward the future. (14) I press on toward the finish line to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Jesus Christ.
(15) Therefore, those of us who are mature (being perfected) should think this way. And if on some issue you think differently, then God will make it clear to you. (16) Only let us live up to the truth that we have already attained.
Citizens of Heaven
(17) My brothers and sisters, join together in imitating the way I live. And just as you have us as an example, keep watching and following those who live as we do. (18) For, as I have often warned you before and now warn you again with tears, many people live as enemies (haters) of the cross of Christ. (19) Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, they glory in their shame, and their mind only thinks about the things of this world!
(20) Since our citizenship is in heaven, we eagerly await the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior, from heaven. (21) By the power that enables him to bring everything under his control he will transform our earthly (lowly) bodies to be like his glorious body.