1Finally, brothers, I wish you joy in the Lord. To write to you what I have already written before is notrouble to me and to you will be a protection. 2Beware of dogs! Beware of evil workmen! Beware of self-mutilators! 3We are the true people of the circumcision since we worship by the Spirit of God and make Christ Jesusour only boast, not relying on physical qualifications, 4although, I myself could rely on these too. If anyone does claim to rely on them, my claim is better. 5Circumcised on the eighth day of my life, I was born of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, aHebrew born of Hebrew parents. In the matter of the Law, I was a Pharisee; 6as for religious fervour, I was a persecutor of the Church; as for the uprightness embodied in the Law, Iwas faultless. 7But what were once my assets I now through Christ Jesus count as losses. 8Yes, I wil go further: because of the supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, I counteverything else as loss. For him I have accepted the loss of al other things, and look on them all as filth if only Ican gain Christ 9and be given a place in him, with the uprightness I have gained not from the Law, but through faith inChrist, an uprightness from God, based on faith, 10that I may come to know him and the power of his resurrection, and partake of his sufferings by beingmoulded to the pattern of his death, 11striving towards the goal of resurrection from the dead. 12Not that I have secured it already, nor yet reached my goal, but I am stil pursuing it in the attempt totake hold of the prize for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not reckon myself as having taken hold of it; I can only say that forgetting al that liesbehind me, and straining forward to what lies in front, 14I am racing towards the finishing-point to win the prize of God's heavenly call in Christ Jesus. 15So this is the way in which al of us who are mature should be thinking, and if you are still thinkingdifferently in any way, then God has yet to make this matter clear to you. 16Meanwhile, let us go forward from the point we have each attained. 17Brothers, be united in imitating me. Keep your eyes fixed on those who act according to the exampleyou have from me. 18For there are so many people of whom I have often warned you, and now I warn you again with tearsin my eyes, who behave like the enemies of Christ's cross. 19They are destined to be lost; their god is the stomach; they glory in what they should think shameful,since their minds are set on earthly things. 20But our homeland is in heaven and it is from there that we are expecting a Saviour, the Lord JesusChrist, 21who wil transfigure the wretched body of ours into the mould of his glorious body, through the workingof the power which he has, even to bring all things under his mastery.
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