22: “That I May Gain Christ” (Php 3:1-4:1)
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.
“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)
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
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.
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
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
6. What has Paul counted as loss? What has he
7a. What are the things
that the world considers as gain? Why does the world consider knowing Christ a
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
10c. Do you consider the knowledge of Jesus Christ
as excellent, that you are willing to suffer the loss of all things (see verse
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
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
16. How do we “stand fast in the Lord” (4:1)?