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"That I May Gain Christ"
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22: “That I May Gain Christ” (Php 3:1-4:1)

I.       The Basics

A.     Setting

In the last section, Paul exhorted the Philippians concerning Christian conduct. Now he warns them against the legalists and those who indulge in pleasure. His tone in this passage becomes more serious and strong. However, we also read of Paul’s powerful personal statements about his own faith and his relationship with Christ, which serve as an illustration of the message he conveys.

B.     Key Verse

“Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ” (3:8)

C.     Did You Know…?

1.     Dogs (3:2): “A harsh word for Paul’s opponents, showing their aggressive opposition to the gospel and the seriousness of their error and its destructive, “devouring” results (cf. Gal 5:15).” 4/1807

2.     Tribe of Benjamin (3:5): “Among this tribe’s claims to superiority was the fact that it gave Israel its first king.” 1/50

3.     Hebrew of the Hebrews (3:5): “Paul was a Hebrew of Hebrew parents, who retained their native tongue and customs. Paul spoke Greek, but he also spoke Hebrew fluently. (See Ac 21:40; 22:2)” 1/50

4.     Pharisee (3:5): The name means “separated.” The Pharisees were a group who set themselves apart by their strict observance of the law of Moses and the oral ancestral traditions.







Key Words/Phrases

Segment Analysis


1.     How does the exhortation to rejoice in the Lord relate to the warnings that follow?

2.     Who are “the dogs, evil workers, and the mutilation”?

3a.   What does Paul mean when he says, “We are the circumcision”? (cf. Rom 2:25-29; Gal 5:1-15; Col 2:11-12)

3b.   Explain the characteristics of believers described in verse 3.


4.     Why does Paul mention his achievements before his conversion?

5.     What is the “righteousness in the law” (6)? When Paul says that he was blameless, does it mean that he was perfect before God?


6.     What has Paul counted as loss? What has he gained?

7a.   What are the things that the world considers as gain? Why does the world consider knowing Christ a loss?

7b.   It is not possible to gain Christ without first forsaking “the things that were gain” to you (see verse 7). What have you counted loss in order to gain Christ?

8.     What does it mean to “be found in Him” (9)?

9.     What is the difference between righteousness from the law and righteousness through faith in Christ?

10a. According to this paragraph, what does it mean to know Christ?

10b. What is the outcome of knowing Christ?

10c. Do you consider the knowledge of Jesus Christ as excellent, that you are willing to suffer the loss of all things (see verse 8)?


11a. What is Paul pressing on to lay hold of?

11b. Consider Paul’s laying hold and Christ’s laying hold of Paul. What does this verse teach about human endeavor and divine calling (12)?

11c. Why is it important to forget what is behind?

12a. What is your goal in life? Are you responding to the “upward call of God”?

12b. What lesson can you learn from Paul’s attitude in your own spiritual journey?

13.   How does Paul’s statement in verses 15 and 16 serve as a guide in dealing with differences of opinions among believers?


14a. What is the lifestyle of the enemies of the cross of Christ (18-19)?

14b. Why are those who live such lifestyles enemies of the cross of Christ?

14c. Does this lifestyle, which is so prevalent today, have any influence on your life?

15a. Why should we constantly remind ourselves that our citizenship is in heaven?

15b. What should be our lifestyle if we eagerly wait for the Lord Jesus Christ and the glorious transformation?

16.   How do we “stand fast in the Lord” (4:1)?


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