Publication Date: 02-22-1984
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.
If you really want to work this chapter and have a handle on it, listen to SNS tape #338. Great
example of putting teaching and preaching together in the Word. Also, Vol. 2, chapter 14, “The
3 : 1 finally. (Grk.) Not finally as the last thing, but finally we take notice of the total superb
revelation given previously. Not indicate end of the epistle, but introduces a new subject
in consideration of the previous restated things that are in this epistle. Good translation
rejoice. Key word.
rejoice in the Lord. Phrase occurs in 4:4 and 4:10. Means in service, specifically in
service to the household where you are serving the household of believers putting your all
into it. Keep the attitude of humility, maintain attitude of service as a doulos like Jesus
Christ, Timothy, and Epaphroditus did. As a doulos for your lord, your master, you are
to rejoice in your master in your lord in your service.
same things. Same things that Epaphroditus had told them and others.
grievous. Irksome; tedious. Never grievous for a teacher to repeat what he said before.
He loves to teach and he knows he has to repeat something for the student to learn it .
but. (Aram.) Because.
safe. (Grk.) asonalēs. Sure; stedfast as a safeguard; reinforcement. That which makes
certain. Used of the pitch that Noah put on the boat in the Septuagint. Asphalt comes
from it. Seals the boat, safeguards it; reinforces it.
Reinforcement is an art in teaching, because most people forget what you tell them. Statistically,
you need to tell people six times. To reiterate is part of the art of teaching.
3 : 2 beware. (Grk.) present imperative indicating continuous action. So continue to beware,
not beware once and then forget about it. (Aram.) from same root as “safe”, v. l. When
you repeat a word from the same root, figure of speech anadiplosis. Same root word
ends one verse and begins the next verse or sentence. In both Greek and Aramaic you
have figure of speech anaphora. Begin successive clauses with the same word; beware
beware, beware dogs. Figure of speech hypocatastases. Implied comparison. Referring
to people as dogs. Backbiters; vicious gossipers; those outside not allowed in the house;
unclean. Used here of the legalistic Judeans, the circumcision. Matthew 15:26,27 used
of the Gentiles .
evil. (Grk.) kakos. Evil that has a destructive nature to it.
concision. The mutilation. In the Septuagint this word is as the worshippers of Baal who
cut themselves, mutilated themselves. Used here of circumcision. In Aramaic adds the
words “of the flesh”. The mutilation of the flesh. But mutilation is put for those who
did it. You look out for the people who do the mutilating. Figure of speech metonymy.
Action put for the one who did it.
3 : 1 Now therefore, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. Writing you the same things you have
heard before is not irksome to me because it reinforces you.
3 : 2 Beware of dogs [backbiters]. Beware of destructively evil workers. Beware of those
who mutilate the flesh.
They need to hear the reinforcement because their problem is in their head. They had that selfish
ambition. In Galatia they were into circumcision, but it never hurts to hear it again and again.
Even if you are not guilty of doing whatever the teacher is talking about it does not hurt you to
hear it again. It is a principle of teaching and building the integrity of the Word in people’s lives,
especially leaders, Corps. Like preventive medicine, very strong – beware, beware, beware.
3 : 3 Look at Romans 2:29, circumcision of the heart.
worship. (Grk.) latreuō. Always used of God, except twice where used of worshipping
devils. Vol. 2, “What is true worship”, pg 84. The called of God are those who worship
God in the spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus. “Rejoice in Christ Jesus” not Jesus Christ.
Great difference. We do not rejoice in the humiliated one, but in the glorified Christ, the
resurrected Christ who ascended into glory. To worship is to rejoice in Christ Jesus for
what he did, what we do because the flesh is weak. Do not judge men by the flesh.
“Have no confidence in the flesh” because the flesh is so weak that John 6:63 says, “the
flesh profiteth nothing.” When we have confidence in the flesh we may accept one man
to be better than another on the basis of appearance. Yet, if men are born of God’s spirit
they are the children of God. In God’s sight they are equally precious. Many things
going on under the guise of Christianity which are nothing more than having “confidence
in the flesh.”
On page 174, Vol. 2, “The High Calling”, only one way we can worship God in spirit and that is
speaking in tongues. All other ritual is part of the senses realm.
Aramaic has worship God by the spirit and that is the translation we went with. The subject is
dealing with worshipping God in the spirit verses worshipping God in the flesh.
rejoice. Boast. You are boasting in Christ Jesus not in the flesh.
flesh. Body and soul; the senses.
3 : 4 might have. (Aram.) past tense. I had. (Grk.) present tense. I have. Could not be true.
Literally means I could have. Use the present for a possibility or what it tends to be.
Aramaic preferred because from “if any other man thinketh” through v. 6 is a parenthesis
that explains confidence in the flesh. So you can read from “I had confidence in the
flesh” and continue with verse 7.
3 : 5 eighth day. Circumcised according to the covenant of Abraham.
of the stock of Israel. Race of Israel. Chosen race or nation as opposed to the One Body.
From the senses point of view he had every right to trust the flesh.
of the tribe of Benjamin. Could document his descent from this tribe, while a lot of the
Judeans of that time could not because of intermarriage.
Hebrew of the Hebrews. A Hebrew is an Aramaic speaking Judean. A Hellenist is a
Greek speaking Judean. Acts 6:1. Paul was a Hebrew of Hebrew parents who spoke
Aramaic. Aramaic phrase reads “a Hebrew the son of Hebrews.”
as touching the law a Pharisee. A Pharisee was one of the religious parties; strict
followers of the law and oral traditions. A Pharisee had to know Hebrew as well as
Aramaic. No indication that Paul knew Greek in his early years .
3 : 6 righteousness which is in the law. In Romans 10:3 talking about Israel
blameless. (Grk.) amemptos. Means faultless. Pertains to your walk. Paul was faultless
with respect to his walk by the law. Luke 1:6 Zacharias and his wife, Elisabeth, were
faultless concerning the law. Hebrews 8:7 the law itself was not faultless. So even if you
were faultless concerning the law you were not faultless as far as God’s righteousness
because the law was not faultless.
3 : 3 We are the [true] circumcision who worship God by the spirit, who boast in Christ
Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh,
3 : 4 even though I myself had confidence in the flesh. (If anyone thinks he has a right to trust
in the flesh, I have a greater right:
3 : 5 Circumcised when I was eight days old; from the race of Israel; of the tribe of Benjamin;
a Hebrew, the son of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee;
3 : 6 as to zeal, I persecuted the church; as to the law’s standard for righteousness, I became
3 : 7 gain. A gain or profit; an increase. Same in 1:21. Not for his personal gain but for
Christ’s gain. Here the things that were previously a personal gain. Opposite of loss.
Matthew 16:26, gaining whole world and loosing own soul is good illustration of usage
of these two words. Epaphroditus risked his life. Would have been a loss physically, but
for the gain of Christ. Same with Paul.
I Corinthians 3:14. Reward is a spiritual gain. It is not only a gain for Christ but also a
gain or prize at the gathering together.
Closely associated is the word profit.
I Corinthians 10:33. Our gain is a reward and a gain for Christ.
I Corinthians 12:7. Manifestations are for profit. Walking by the spirit of God produces
that profit-gain for Christ and reward for you.
I Corinthians 13:1ff. Not only manifestations in operation but also with the love of God
in the renewed mind in manifestation then you’ll have profit, gain, rewards.
II Corinthians 8:10. Expedient is same as profit. Abundant sharing is giving and that is a
II Timothy 3:16. All scripture is profitable, a gain, but doctrines of men, traditions, a
I Timothy 4:8. Godliness is profitable unto all things. True vital spiritual relationship is
profitable, a gain.
3 : 8 count. To reckon; to consider. I consider all things loss.
all things. All this previous training and all his previous positions and background. The
things listed in the parenthesis.
excellency. Excessive size; exceeding superiority. Verb form means to extend beyond
the prescribed bounds; to stretch out beyond measure. The knowledge of Christ is
superior excellence to the other things.
of the knowledge of Christ. Dual genitive. Ephesians has many of these. Brings
emphasis to scriptures all over the place. For the excellency of the knowledge of Christ
Jesus. Literally it means the exceedingly superior knowledge pertaining to Christ Jesus
dung. Used of everything from table scraps, garbage, leftovers to excretions.
3 : 9 found. Discovered.
by faith. Not in Aramaic. We’ve deleted it. Greek put it in to give the “by it”, v. 10,
Aramaic, a meaning which they said was faith. In Aramaic v. 10 begins “by it”. If you
put “by it” it is the righteousness which is by God’s standard and not by the five senses.
He was striving for what he had spiritually, not by the five senses, not the righteousness
according to the law.
faith of Christ. In a previous seminar we listed this as the faith of Jesus Christ, but I
would like to throw out here that this phrase, “pistis of Christ” is only used one other
place, Galatians 2:16. “faith of Jesus Christ” is the inside spiritual job. “we have believed
in Jesus Christ” is what we do in our heads. We believe in Jesus Christ, then you receive
the faith of Jesus Christ, “that we might be justified by the believing of Christ.” Why
“believing of Christ?” That is the uttermost believing, perfect believing, ultimate of
believing. And Jesus Christ believed to the uttermost, perfectly and that is what made
available the inside job “the faith of Jesus Christ.” We are justified by the believing of
Jesus Christ not the works of the law. Galatians 2:20, Jesus Christ’s perfect believing is
what made available what we have spiritually. Philippians 3:9, it was the perfect
believing of Christ that made available the righteousness of God, which is the faith of
Jesus Christ. Both ideas inherent in this verse. Would suggest we go with believing or
3 : 7 But I consider those things which were formerly a personal gain, to be a loss on account
3 : 8 Furthermore, I consider all these things to be a loss on account of the exceedingly
superior knowledge pertaining to Christ Jesus my lord. For his sake I lost all these things
and I now consider them garbage and dung, so that I might gain, Christ.
3 : 9 and be discovered in him, not with my righteousness according to the law’s standard, but
with the righteousness according to God’s standard, which is by the perfect believing of
3 : 10 that. Put “by it” instead.
know. [Gr. ginōskō]. To know by experience. [Aram. eshtauda]. Comes from the
word, yada, to know. In Aramaic you have three normal forms that are used for verbs,
different conjugations. However, there is a fourth conjugation that is rarely used, extraextensive
form. Example, we are completely, completely, completely complete.
Absolutely complete. This is the form used here. To know that you know that you know
that you know. Great force in the extra-extensive form.
power of his resurrection. The new birth. To be born again. He was raised from the
dead and when you are born again you have proof of that.
fellowship of his sufferings. Has nothing to do with suffering. You are identified with
his suffering. That is why it is fellowship with. You share in his suffering “being made
conformable unto his death.” Romans 6:3-6. Colossians 2:10-13. Read The New,
Dynamic Church, pg. 179. Fellowship refers to baptism into Christ Jesus. This means
that we were buried with him and raised up from the dead, now to walk completely in this
new life. Legally, when he died we died with him. When he was buried we were buried
with him. When he arose we arose with him, being with him in the fellowship of his
sufferings. We were made conformable or like he was unto his death.
3 : 10 So by it I know that I know that I know that I know him experientially [as my savior]
and the inherent power of his resurrection [by the new birth] and the fellowship of his
suffering [identification with Christ], by being conformed to his death.
You are born again, you are identified with Christ. Everything you have today is the result of
Christ’s perfect believing. Everything you are is not the result of your own works or keeping the
law, but the result of what Christ did for you. The new birth is the point at which to start in your
life. The starting point for the rest of your life.
3 : 11 This section starts with the new birth.
to attain. To arise; come; reach out.
unto. [Gr. eis]. Movement toward an object with the intent of reaching the object. He
didn’t want to die but he wanted to be changed at the gathering together and he set his
eyes on reaching that gathering together.
resurrection. [Gr. exanastasis]. Out-resurrection. Anastasis is the normal word for
resurrection. Ex. Out. Whenever you read about the resurrection of Israel or the unjust
of the future it is always anastasis. Here it is talking about the gathering together, but
Paul isn’t trying to reach the resurrection, he is trying to reach the exanastasis.
Dr. Wierwille says, ”He is not concerned with the resurrection of the just and the unjust
as noted in Revelation 20:5,13. He is concerned with an out-resurrection. The outresurrection
is spoken of in I Thessalonians 4:16,17, “the dead in Christ....” Paul did not
care to die. He wanted to be changed through the out-resurrection. This out-resurrection
should literally be translated “out from among”. Called an out-resurrection because at the
gathering together not everybody is going to be dead. Some people are going to be alive.
3 : 11 Thus, I shall reach out toward the out-resurrection from among the dead.
To reach out toward it is to reach out like an athlete. v. 10 is starting point of life. You realize
you didn’t do anything to earn your salvation, but by the righteousness of God, His standard for
righteousness, you became highly acquainted to the end that you knew, you knew, you knew the
new birth, the power of his resurrection, through the identification with Christ. The starting
point of your life. Beginning of the race and why now we reach out toward the out-resurrection.
Our new birth was the beginning of the race.
3 : 12 attained. (Aram.). To receive or gain the victory. [Gr. lambanō]. In the context of the
contest it is not as though he had already attained or received that final victory in
neither were I already perfect. Fully mature initiated in the sense of the gathering
together. [Gr. teleioō]. Related to word teleios, a fully initiated one, mature, grown-up
person. Here the context is perfect in the sense of the gathering together with a new
body. [Aram. gmar].
follow after. [Aram. ragt]. To run. [Gr. diōkō]. To pursue, an athletic term. Also, translated
persecute. Here it is pursuing for the prize. Like v. 14 “press” is same word.
apprehend . [Gr. katalambanō ]. To seize; to overtake as in a battle or in a race; to
comprehend, mentally overtake someone or something; to lay hold on. Eng. idiom “to
lay your hands on it”; to grab it would fit nicely here. Jerusalem Bible, to capture the
prize for which I was grabbed for. Which is Christ laid his hands on me. He laid his
hand on me in v. 10, put me in this race and said “get ready”. Now, you want to grab that
prize, but it is future.
of. By Christ Jesus. That is the criterion for our laying hold on spiritual things because
Christ laid hold on us.
One thing people often do after they have been in the race for a while is forget who grabbed
them and put them in the race. They forget that Christ did all these things for them. They forget
what he did for them. Forget their sonship rights. They forget what the ministry did to bring
them the Word many times. Secondly, they then loose their attitude of service in the race. They
slow down instead of really putting everything in to serve they slow down in the race. Thirdly,
they forget where their real rewards come from. Forget the goal, the prize at the end of the race.
I think these three things are three major factors in people leaving the ministry. Something you
have to be aware of.
3 : 12 I have not yet received this final victory, nor am I yet made perfect [with a new body];
but I am pursuing the goal [running as an athlete] in order to lay my hands on that prize
for which Christ Jesus laid his hands on me.
Twice you have that word “laid my hands on” then in v. 13.
3 : 13 apprehended. Third time used, figure of speech polyptoton. Same word, different
I myself. Makes it very emphatic.
reaching forth. Stretching out. Athletic terminology. Some compare it to a chariot race
where the charioteer would stretch out, however, there were some places in the Greek
Olympics in the chariot races where they did look back, even talked to each other. But
the runner would never look back. The idea that a runner should never look back to see
who is behind him. Keeps his eyes on the goal, stretching forth far those things which
In this contest you have to forget the past, your mistakes. They are past and you can’t do
anything about them. Stretch for the goal. Keep wanting to get better in you walk. Sometimes
you’ll step on the track line, but still race toward the goal.
3 : 14 press . Pursue, run.
mark. (Aram. & Gr.) . Goal; target; finish line.
prize. Word used in athletic writings of the victor’s prize. Reward of victory for winning
the race. Prize that pertains to the “high calling” or upward call, the victory. God’s call.
of the high calling of God. Double genitive.
in Christ Jesus. The glorified one that we boast about; that we rejoice in; that we trust in.
What a race and it all started with the new birth. He put us on a track and said “get going”.
3 : 13 My brothers, in no way do I myself reason that I have already taken hold of the prize.
But this I do: Forgetting the things which lie behind me and stretching out toward the
things which lie before me,
3 : 14 I pursue [run toward] the goal [finish line] for the prize of the high calling of God in
We are in a spiritual contest. We are running as athletes of the spirit. This subject was
introduced in Philippians 1:27. As citizens we ought to conduct ourselves worthy of the gospel
in this contest. Be a good athlete. Then the great section in Philippians 2:12. So what if the
devil has a 6,000 years head start, you still have God working within you. You ought to catch up
pretty quick. Do everything without complaining and arguing in order that you may be faultless
and unalterated as the blameless sons of God who are dwelling in a crooked and perverted age in
which you shine as bright stars in the universe, holding forth the Word of Life so I may boast in
the day of Christ that I have not run the race in vain nor worked so hard in vain. But, if I am
poured out upon the sacrifice, that is, my service for your believing, I rejoice, yea, I rejoice
greatly with all of you .
We are in that race holding forth that Word of Life to others. We ourselves cannot forget what
Jesus Christ did for us. We have got to remember what he did, remember our sonship rights that
we have, and then maintain an attitude of service with humility of mind. What can I do to help
others, holding forth the Word of Life, that I have not run in vain. Service, service, service to the
family, the household, the body. Never take your eyes off of the goal. The hope, the rewards. If
you do you will never finish the race.