For the rest, my friends, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write this to you, but safe for yourselves.
Beware of the cynics; beware of those men of foul life; beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, who worship through a Divine Spirit, and exult in Christ Jesus, and do not place confidence in an external appearance; although I might also have confidence in an external appearance. If any think well to trust in an appearance, I can much more: in eighth-day circumcision, of the race of Israel, tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; regarding ritual, a Pharisee; as to zeal, persecuting the Church; being blameless in a righteousness which is contained in ritual.
But what might have been a gain to me, that I considered a loss for Christ. Nay, further; I also consider them all to be a loss, compared to the possession of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: by which I lost everything, and consider it to be refuse if I can gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not possessing my ritualistic righteousness, but that through the faith of Christ, the righteousness from God by the faith; so as to know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the association with His sufferings, being assimilated to His death--so that in any way I may attain to the resurrection that is from the dead. Not that I have now attained it, or am now perfected: but I ran so that I might carry it off; and I was also laid hold of by Christ. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have won it; but one thing, forgetting the past, and straining to those in front, I rush along the track for the prize of the supreme call of God in Christ Jesus. As many of us therefore who are perfect, let us have this before us; and if you put anything else before you, may God reveal this to you. Beyond what we have attained to--let us go straight to that.
Become my imitators, brethren, and look out those who walk thus, as you have our model; for many conduct themselves--of whom I have often spoken to you, but now I say it weeping--as enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is perdition, whose god their sensuality, and their boast in their shame; they think of what is upon earth. But our policy consists in possessing an object in heaven: from where also we expect a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who will transform the body of our humility, making it like the body of His majesty, by the internal working of His power; and He will subject all to Himself.