I hope you are profiting from your reading of Philippians. Remember its not really a book. It’s a letter to friends who have worked together to establish churches in Turkey and Greece, and now, have hopes of extending that into Spain. Paul’s point is that joy comes from sticking together in this task.
Read Philippians 3-4::1
Paul is telling these people to stay committed, individually and corporately, to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Don’t waiver on what the gospel is. Don’t give up on your own pursuit of intimacy with God because that is what brings joy and hope. Remember this is not a psychological manuel on how to be happy. It is a letter to fellow Christians to encourage and exhort them to be faithful.
Roger Ellsworth (OPENING UP PHIIIPPIANS, Day One Publishers, p. 55-63) has some helpful definitions:
Flesh: anything apart from Christ on which one bases his hope of salvation. See 3:4,
”though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more:..”
righteousness: standing before a holy God completely clean and pure in external behavior and internal desires. See 3:9,
…not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness that comes from God that depends on faith–
Dogs: Teachers who deny the saving work of the Lord Jesus. They do not rely totally on the person and work of the Lord Jesus. They teach others to depend on something else besides the cross. Paul uses his own life as an example of the asurdity of this.
When you sin, and you know it, turn from it in sorrow and heartbreak, and embrace the wonderful news that Jesus never sinned. God our father covers our sin with Jesus’s purity. So His righteousness becomes ours and we are found “in Christ.” God does not have to disregard His justice in order to accept us. We are children and heirs. Now that is good reason to stand firmly together to establish churches and tell others about Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior.