Publication Date: 03-01-1984
Walter J. Cummins graduated from the Power for Abundant Class in 1962.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Ohio State University in 1968 and his Master of Education degree in Secondary School Administration in 1978 from Wright State University.
He was ordained to the Christian by The Way International in 1968. He has studied at The Way International under Victor Paul Wierwille and K.C.Pillai. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he was director of the Research department of the Way International and served as assistant to the president.
PHILIPPIANS 3:15-21 – 4:1-9
Last week the last four verses 3:1l-14, are the great athletic analogy that set before us what a
believer should do. And it all started with the new birth, where the race began and you start
toward the out-resurrection from among the dead, the gathering together of the Church. Now we
are in the race running.
3 : 15 perfect. [Aram. gmur]. Perfect; mature. [Gr. teleios]. Perfect; mature; fully initiated.
Same word in v. 12. That is with a new body as a fully mature, perfected one. That
perfection is talking about the return when you reach the finish line. But now it is talking
about those who are fully mature, initiated ones, not that we have reached that goal yet,
the high calling, but we are fully mature, initiated ones today. Two different usages of
that word: 1. Referring to growing up in Christ today. The faithful in Christ Jesus,
committed, sold out, lives stand for that one body and endeavor to maintain that unity of
the spirit in the bond of peace. The ones Paul could make known the mystery. 2. The
full maturity you receive when Christ returns, when you get a new body. To check out
this difference see Ephesians 4:13, “...a perfect man”, the perfection you get when Christ
returns. I Corinthians 2:6, “...among them that are perfect”, we speak the mystery. The
fully initiated ones, mature ones, those who have grown up in Christ, the faithful ones.
You would teach the mystery to the fully initiated ones. So Romans, Corinthians, and
Galatians might talk about it, but it doesn’t tell you what the mystery is until Ephesians.
be thus minded. To think those thoughts.
otherwise. [Gr. heterōs]. With a long “o” because it is an adverbial form. Means
otherwise; of a different kind. The thoughts he has been talking about is striving toward
the goal for the prize of the high calling. That is where you keep your thoughts on that
goal. And if you think otherwise could mean a lot of things in your unrenewed mind,
contrary to striving toward that perfection.
God shall reveal even this unto you. If you do get your thoughts off the goal God will
reveal it to you. Does not mean every time you get out of fellowship God will tell you
and give you revelation on the word of knowledge, word of wisdom. The Book is
revelation. And you are responsible to know by your five senses what you can know.
Because revelation starts where the senses cease. God can and will reveal things to you
by revelation where it needs be, but you have the revelation of His written Word. For
example, God does not have to tell you not to steal if you are stealing.
3 : 15 Therefore, let as many of us as are fully initiated, mature believers think this thought
pursuing the goal for the prize. If you entertain thoughts which are in any way different,
God shall reveal even this to you.
This is definitely a central issue to the Philippians, correcting practical error regarding the
practical side of the mystery, the one Body. If you think anything outside of striving toward that
goal, then God will reveal that to you. That is central to Philippians.
3 : 16 Also central to Philippians.
whereto we have already attained. The new birth.
walk by the same rule. Rule of the new birth. (Aram.) literally, says “Let us follow in
one path.” Finish in one path. (Grk.), word “walk” is not the normal word, but work
stoicheō. Means to conduct your walk in an orderly fashion.
rule. [Gr. kanōn]. Lane marking in the race track; boundaries. Your rule for faith and
practice is the Word.
by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Is not in some of the critical texts, but I
believe it belongs in it. It is in the Aramaic and in some of the critical Greek texts.
Believe it belongs because one of the central issues in Philippi is to think the same thing.
3 : 16 In any case, let us conduct our walk in alignment and harmony with the standard of the
standing at which we have arrived. Let us think the same thoughts.
The doctrine sounds like Ephesians 1:3, where we have arrived. Chap. 4-6 is walk worthy of that
calling. Here we are to run worthy in alignment and harmony with the standard of our standing
at which we have arrived. Ephesians 1-3. Walk is Ephesians 4-6. Thinking the same thoughts,
unity of the Spirit, is central to Philippians.
3 : 17 followers together. Imitators together.
walk. Normal word for walk. [Gr. peripateo].
mark. [Gr. skopeō]. Verb form of word in v. 14. To watch; to consider; to focus in on.
example. [Gr. tupos]. Type.
followers. (Aram.) Is similar to example at end of verse. Different from of same root.
Figure of speech polpotom, in Aramaic not Greek.
3 : 17 My brothers, be imitators of me and mark out for the goal of your conduct those who
walk according to the example we set for you.
3 : 18 Starts parenthesis, figure of speech parembole. Parenthesis complete in itself.
walk. Normal word. (Aram.) adds word, “otherwise”. Many walk otherwise.
cross. Figure of speech metalepsis. Double metonymy. Cross put for death which is put
for it’s accomplishments.
3 : 19 Whose end is destruction. Our goal is the hope of the high calling. Theirs is the
belly. Figure of speech synecdoche. Part put for whole. They worship themselves, their
belly. Also in Romans 16:18. Serving the belly in Greek literature was a sign of
weakness. Cyclops in Euripides said, “My flocks which I sacrificed to no one but myself
and not to gods and to this my belly the greatest of gods. For to eat and drink each day
and to give oneself no trouble, this is the god of wise men, whose glory is in their
shame.” They glory in things that they ought to be ashamed about.
God put this verse in reverse of what it ought to be. It starts with the end. First, you mind
earthly things, Second, you begin to glory or to boast in those things. You ought to be ashamed
of those things. Thirdly, you become your own god. Fourth, your end is destruction. Figure of
speech hysteron-proteron. Means last first.
3 : 18 (For many are walking in other ways, about whom I have told you many times and now I
tell you with tears in my eyes, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ.
3 : 19 Their end is destruction. Their god is their belly [themselves]. Their glory is in things
that are shameful. Their thoughts are on earthly things.
The parenthesis sits off by itself and sets off those that are contrasting to the example that we set
for you. You could read from 3:17 down to verse 3:20.
3 : 20 conversation. Citizenship. For Philippians, Rome was their seat of government. For the
believers, heaven is the seat of government. It is our home.
look for. To expect earnestly; to wait ardently.
also. Not in Aramaic.
3 : 21 vile body. Humiliated body. Literally, the body of humiliation.
change. To transfigure. Not mean morphomai in Renewed Mind class. It is
metaschematizō. Changing your fashion; a new scheme; transfigure. Our humiliated
body is going to get a new body.
His glorious body. Literally, body of glory. (Grk.) Figure of speech antimereia. We
would say glorious body or humiliated body. Normal construction in Aramaic. In Greek
not normal therefore figure of speech.
according to. Set the standard. Standard is “the energizing whereby He, God, is able to
subdue all things unto Himself.” God subdues and energizes so that Christ can change
our humiliated bodies when he returns.
In. v. 17 that is why you mark out the goal of your conduct. Those who walk according to the
example we set for you, for our citizenship , v. 20, is in heaven.
3 : 20 Our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly wait for our savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, to
return from there.
3 : 21 He shall transfigure our humiliated bodies to become formed like his glorious body
according to the energizing by which He [God] is able to subdue all things to Himself.
Get you conduct in alignment and harmony with what you already have, the new birth. That is
the standard, the rule, the lane markings on the race track. In other words, don’t get out of
fellowship. Renew you mind.
4 : 1 Therefore. Indicates the result of that which is written before.
dearly beloved. Begins and ends v. 4. Figure of speech epanadiplosis.
longed for. [Aram. rachma]. Here it is used of love. Used in 1:8. Wanted to be with
them in Greek.
joy and crown. Key word “joy”. All preceding words in verse are plural, dearly beloved,
longed for, but joy and crown. He treats the whole group as one. Since tenses are
switched it is figure of speech heterosis. Exchange of any accidents or parts of speech.
Singular for the plural.
stand fast. Stand firm. In 1:27, key verse. Part of conducting yourself as citizens.
in the lord. In service to the household. Another key concept in Philippians. Humility of
4 : 1 Therefore, my brothers whom I love and greatly desire to be with, my joy and crown,
stand firm in the lord, my beloved.
4 : 2 I beseech. To encourage.
Euodias and Syntyche. Two ladies. Can tell by the feminine endings in Greek. Greek
names. When Paul went to Philippi he first started witnessing down by the riverside.
The women went there.
be of the same mind. Think the same thoughts. Key idea in Philippians.
in the lord. In you service.
4 : 2 I encourage Euodias and Syntyche to think the same thoughts in the lord.
4 : 3 I entreat. (Grk.). To ask. Not word encourage.
true. Genuine, legitimate.
yokefellow. Some translate as a proper name, and may have been some person because
he just mentioned two people by name in v. 2. Some say it was someone working with
Paul and could be Lydia. But it is masculine. I think it is one of the bishops or deacons
of 1:1. One who was responsible for the work and included the girls in v. 2, and could
help them to get likeminded. [Aram. barzauga]. Son of the yoke.
In addition to reading Vol. 2, chap. 15, listen to tapes 476, both of the #1 and #2. Two Sunday
nights Dr. Wierwille covered this chapter. Gives more that what is covered here.
those women. Euodias and Syntyche.
help. To assist. [Gr. sullambano]. When used in middle voice and used here it means to
take and hold together.
laboured with. [Gr. sunathleo]. Who contended together with me in the context.
Clement. Don’t know who he is. A person who wrote an epistle to the Corinthians at the
turn of the first century from Rome was named Clement. First epistle of Clement. Could
have been him but we don’t know. He claims to have known Paul and writes a lot of
things that were right on. Missed it on a couple of things. He was someone working with
Paul at the time.
book of life. Background study by John Crouch: This phrase “book of life” literally
means the role of the living or the book of the living. Their books were in roles or
scrolls. A universal custom among men who lived in cities had been to keep a role or
register of the citizens’ names. From these roles a man could easily obtain title to
property and claim privileges and immunities common to all citizens of the city. During
the first century men were listed according to their tribe and family in Roman, Greek and
Judean cities. The roles of Roman citizens were revised every five years in Rome and
Italy. To loose ones citizenship was a disgrace and implied some treasonous act. In this
event the man’s name was blotted from the roles and taken out of the book of life. This
phrase occurs quite a bit in Book of Revelation.
Rev. 22:19. The holy city to which you have your name written in the book of the living, your
citizenship. Your name is not written on any earthly role, but written on the scroll or citizenship
of those living in heaven. Not the same as the Judean written in Revelation, but the Church.
Old Testament references: Exodus 32:32,33; Psalms 69:28; Psalms 87:6; Isaiah 4:3;
Ezekiel 13:9; Daniel 12:1; Malachi 3:16. Look at Psalms 69:26ff. Psalms 87:1ff. God keeps the
4 : 3 Yea, I ask you also, my genuine yokefellow, get these [two] women together and help
them, for they have contended together in the gospel with me, with Clement, and with the
rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the book of life.
4 : 4 rejoice. Key word. Figure of speech anadiplosis. Same word at beginning and end of a
sentence. Also, figure of speech paeanismos. In a feeling in a call to rejoice. An
expression of feeling by a call to rejoice.
in the lord. Service in the household.
4 : 4 Rejoice in the lord always. I repeat: Rejoice!
4 : 5 let your moderation. Your forbearance; to be actively considerate; charitable on insig
nificant points. You don’t start W.W. III on whether he left his socks on the floor or not.
The Lord is at hand: Doesn’t mean he is coming soon. It means he is near. The Lord is
nearer than hands and feet, he is in our hearts. Always ready to help. Help you to be
4 : 5 Learn by experience forbearance [active consideration, gentleness] toward all men. The
lord is near.
You don’t have to let your forbearance be known to everybody, it is none of their business what
you do or don’t do. But you learn it anyway. Learn by experience to be actively considerate.
To give in on insignificant points. You learn it by experience.
4 : 6 be careful for nothing. Be anxious for nothing. To be overly concerned about nothing.
supplication. Prayer for specific need. Petition for a specific need .
4 : 6 Be anxious about nothing, but in everything let your requests be known to God by prayer
and petition for specific needs with thanksgiving.
4 : 7 peace of God. Only have peace of God when all are of one mind. We must have an
active state of being in one mind, then you have the peace of God. It is that peace of
passeth all understanding. It stretches out beyond man’s ability of the mind to
comprehend. [Gr. nous]. The organ of mental perception.
keep. Guard, like a garrison. Like the military, that is how they maintain the peace.
heart. The seat of your spiritual life. Your mind is the seat of your personal life.
through Christ Jesus. In Christ Jesus.
4 : 7 Then the peace of God, which extends beyond the mind’s ability to comprehend, shall
guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
4 : 8 finally. Now therefore. Does not mean the final end, but now we take notice of that total
superb revelation given previously.
whatsoever. Figure of speech anaphora. Successive phrases beginning with the same
virtue. In ancient Greek there existed an argument between the Sophists and the educated
traditionalists over the meaning of virtue, and whether or not virtue could be taught to
others. [Gr. aretē]. Used of excellence or goodness of any kind not necessarily moral.
Used of brave and glorious deeds of war as opposed to athletic. Also used of athletic
deeds as opposed to deeds of war. Used of moral things at times. Depending on which
philosopher you were listening to it could mean any or a hundred different things.
Usages so varied that its meaning of moral excellence or conformity of conduct to moral
principles was in constant dispute. For this reason its singular occurrence in the Church
Epistles is introduced by “if any”. If there is any such thing as aretē, whatever it means.
Then “if any praise”, whatever that is. Praise is introduced beside virtue since aretē was
used in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew word for praise as an attribute of God.
This singular and peculiar usage of aretē in the in the Church Epistles suggests God’s
appeal to the Philippians in light of their philosophical background to conduct their lives
in accordance with the six aforementioned concepts: truth; honesty; justice; purity;
loveliness; and good report. The only other occurrences of aretē in New Testament are
I Peter 2:9 and II Peter 1:3,5. Whatever that glory and virtue is it has to line up with our
life and godliness that He has given us. Our true vital spiritual relationship.
In both contexts it is used of moral excellence, the conformity of conduct to moral principle.
Godliness, a true vital spiritual relationship is central to II Peter 1:3, but it is opposite of religion,
which is man-made acts in the senses world toward God. A true vital spiritual relationship is
very important in light of virtue, not religion. The list of II Peter 1:5ff differs from
Philippians 4:8. Both differ from Plato, who originally gave four cardinal or natural virtues:
wisdom or prudence; courage or fortitude; temperance or self-control; justice or righteousness.
Aristotle adds six more: liberality; high mindedness; gentleness; friendliness; truthfulness; and
decorous wit. Refer to “Life-style of the Believer”. St. Thomas Acquinas and other church
fathers adopted Plato’s for cardinal virtues and added three theological virtues: faith, hope and
love making seven virtues for the church.
Outside of Phil. 4:8 and the records in Peter there is no mention of the word virtue in the New
Testament. Yet in New Testament the moral principles for conformity of conduct to your true
vital spiritual relationship with God are numerous. Many such lists: Beatitudes,
Matthew 5:1-16, Jesus Christ lists at least ten virtues; Philippians 4:8 lists six virtues;
I Corinthians 13:15 lists three; Colossians 3:12-15 lists ten virtues; Romans 5:5 lists four;
II Peter 1:5-7 lists eight. In addition there are 17 virtues in I Timothy 3:2ff pertaining to a
bishop. I Timothy 3:8 seven virtues pertaining to deacons. I Timothy 2:11 four virtues
pertaining to wives of deacons and bishops; Titus 2:2 six virtues for elders; Titus 2:3-5 ten
virtues for elder women; Titus 2:6-8 seven virtues for young men; Titus 2:9-3:2 seventeen
virtues for servants. Numerous virtues in II Corinthians 6:4-10 and many other principles of
So do you think there is any virtue? Besides these there are the nine fruit of the spirit in
Galatians 5:22,23 and the orderly walk by the spirit in manifestation, the new creation or source
and role for conduct. Remember the rule. Perhaps biblically virtue can best be defined by Isaiah
11:2-4: a true vital spiritual relationship not religion. Walking and judging by the spirit of the
Lord. It is a walk by the spirit.
True and honest are absolutes. Just and pure are relative. Lovely and good report are moral
commendations or approbations. Furthermore, the first four describe the character of the action.
The last two the action themselves.
true. That which is opposed to facts; lies; errors; and deceptions. God’s Word is true. Is
it virtuous to use the word create in terms of what man does? No. It is not true according
to God’s Word. But it is very deceptive the way they sneak it into a lot of conversations.
Very accepted term. Absolute.