3:1 Finally, 1 my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. 2 To write
the a same things to you, to me indeed [is] not grievous,
but for you [it is] safe.
(1) A conclusion of those things which have been said before,
that is, that they go forward cheerfully in the Lord.
(2) A preface to the next admonition that follows, to take good
heed and beware of false apostles, who join circumcision
with Christ, (that is to say, justification by works, with
free justification by faith), and beat into men's head the
ceremonies which are abolished, instead of true exercises
of godliness and charity. And he calls them dogs, as
profane barkers, and evil workmen, because they neglected
true works and did not teach the true use of them. To be
short, he calls them concision, because in urging
circumcision, they cut off themselves and others from the
(a) Which you have often times heard from me.
3:2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the b
(b) He alludes to circumcision; and while they were boasting
in it, they broke apart the Church.
3:33 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the
spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence
c in the flesh.
(3) He shows that we ought to use true circumcision, that is,
the circumcision of the heart, so that by cutting off all
wicked affections by the power of Christ, we may serve God
in purity of life.
(c) In outward things which do not at all pertain to the
3:44 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any
other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in
the flesh, I more:
(4) He does not doubt to prefer himself even according to the
flesh, before those perverse zealous urgers of the Law,
that all men may know that he does with good judgment of
mind, consider of little worth all of those outward things.
For he who has Christ lacks nothing, and confidence in our
works cannot stand with the free justification in Christ by
3:7 But what things were d gain to me, those I counted loss
(d) Which I considered as gain.
3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count e all things [but] loss for the
excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for
whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count
them [but] dung, that I may f win Christ,
(e) He shuts out all works, those that go before, as well as
those that come after faith.
(f) That in their place I might get Christ, and from a poor
man become rich, so far am I from losing anything at
3:9 And be found in g him, h not having mine own
righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is
through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of
God by faith:
(g) In Christ: for those that are found outside of Christ
are subject to condemnation.
(h) That is, to be in Christ, to be found not in a man's own
righteousness, but clothed with the righteousness of
Christ imputed to him.
3:105 That I may i know him, and the power of his
resurrection, and the 6 fellowship of his sufferings,
being made conformable unto his death;
(5) This is the end of righteousness by faith with regard to
us, that by the power of his resurrection we may escape
(i) That I may indeed feel him, and have an experience of
(6) The way to that eternal salvation is to follow Christ's
steps by afflictions and persecutions, until we come to
Christ himself, who is our mark at which we aim, and
receive that reward to which God calls us in him. And the
apostle sets these true exercises of godliness against
those vain ceremonies of the Law, in which the false
apostles put the sum of godliness.
3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the k resurrection of
(k) To everlasting life, which follows the resurrection of
3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already
perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that
for which also I am l apprehended of Christ Jesus.
(l) For we run only as far forth as we are laid hold on by
Christ, that is, as God gives us strength, and shows us
3:157 Let us therefore, as many as be m perfect, be thus
minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God
shall reveal even this unto you.
(7) The conclusion of this exhortation standing upon three
members: the first is, that those who have profited in the
truth of this doctrine should continue in it. The second
is, that if there are any who are yet ignorant and do not
understand these things, and who doubt of the abolishing of
the Law, they should cause no trouble, and should be gently
waited for, until they also are instructed by the Lord.
The third is, that they judge the false apostles by their
fruits: in which he does not doubt to set forth himself as
(m) He said before that he was not perfect. So that in
this place he calls those perfect who have somewhat
profited in the knowledge of Christ and the Gospel,
whom he sets against the rude and ignorant, as he
himself expounds in (Php 3:16).
3:188 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now
tell you even weeping, [that they are] the enemies of the
cross of Christ:
(8) He shows what the false apostles truly are, not from malice
or ambition, but with sorrow and tears, that is, because
being enemies of the Gospel (for that is joined with
persecuting it) they regard nothing else, but the benefits
of this life: that is to say, that abounding in peace, and
quietness, and all worldly pleasures, they may live in great
estimation among men, whose miserable end he forewarned
3:19 Whose n end [is] destruction, whose God [is their] belly,
and [whose] o glory [is] in their shame, who mind earthly
(o) Which they hunt after from men's hands.
3:209 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we
look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
(9) He sets against these fellows true pastors who neglect
earthly things, and aspire to heaven only, where they know
that even in their bodies they will be clothed with that
eternal glory, by the power of God.