Philippians Chapter Four



1. So then my friends, continue joyfully in the Lord. It is good for me to repeat the things I have said to you, so you will become secure in them.

2. Keep your eye out for those rogues who only want to do you harm and cut you to pieces.

3. We are only interested in cutting away at our self centered attitudes, serving God with a truly spiritual mind-set and rejoicing with Christ in his victory. We do not put any confidence in our own performance,

4. Even though I could feel confident in my own past performances. No-one could feel more confident in religious performances than me.

5. Circumcised on the eight day according to tradition, a true descendant of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, without peer as a Hebrew, and as for my religious credentials, I was a learned Pharisee.

6. As far as being a zealot for Judaism was concerned, I persecuted the church, and as for being righteous in observing the law I was without fault.

7. But whatever advantage those things might have gained for me I have gladly lost outright to have what I now have in Christ.

8. I have no problem with losing everything I have ever had in order to have the superior distinction of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord. I have forsaken everything for him and see it all as meaningless, so that I can make having Christ the most meaningful thing in my life.

9. I find the true meaning of life as I find oneness with him. I no longer have to establish myself by my rigid observance of the Law. I am fully established as who I am before God by believing in what Jesus has done and is continually doing for me.

10. I long to know and understand him as a person, and to be aware of the power within him that makes what is dead live again. I want to identify with how he suffered, and let my soul be shaped by his heart of giving up his life for us.

11. If this kind of living is what is meant by bringing life out of death I want to be part of it.

12. I am not there yet. The work is not yet completed in me, but I am pursuing this with all I am and all I have. I want to make my own the whole plan of life for which Jesus has made me his own.

13. So, while I cannot say that I have arrived, I can say that I have put the problems of the past behind me, and I am focused only on what great things lay ahead of me.

14. I now have a real goal in life. To experience the supreme reward that comes from saying yes to living a heavenly life with Jesus here and now in this present life.

15. If any of you want to know what it is like to live within this kind of perfect arrangement, then start thinking the way I have just outlined to you, and if you don’t quite grasp this I know God can reveal it to you.

16. So however far we might have come in comprehending this truth, let us live out of it together as the defining principle that determines how we think and how we live.

17. I want you to embrace this kind of living the way I have, and to follow the example of others you see living the same way also.

18. (I have told you before and I tell you again, sadly, that there are some whose lives are woeful models to you because they contradict the example of Jesus in giving his life for us on the cross.

19. They are on a road to ruin, slaves to their selfish desires, proud of their arrogance and sold out to the things of this world.)

20. Our way of life reflects the atmosphere of heaven, where we live in constant hope and expectation of the supernatural redeeming work of Jesus,

21. Who will finally take our weak mortality and change it to be like his mighty immortality, using the power that only he has, to subdue all things to himself.

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