Philippians 3:15-21 - Standards of Citizenship
This is one of the hardest verses of scripture. The word perfect is sometimes translated mature, but translating τελειοι as mature is only one of five possible meanings. The other five mean finished, wanting nothing necessary to completeness, perfect, things that are perfect and the ultimate in human integrity and virtue.
- Using mature instead of perfect seems to be a way of avoiding the significance of the word. Why is it intimidating to use the word perfect?
- Look at Matthew 5:48, Philippians 1:6, Colossians 4:12, and James 1:4. What insight does this give on being perfect?
- Is perfect the way we act or what Christ has made us to be?
- What attitude are those who are supposed to have? (See Philippians 2:5-9; 3:7)
- What or WHO is our standard?
- How did we attain that standard?
- Can other people be our standard? Then why does Paul say to follow his example and pattern?
Paul weeps for those who are enemies of Christ.
- Why does Paul weep for them? Do you weep for them?
- How can one’s glory become their shame? How can what they are proud of become a source of shame?
- If our citizenship is in heaven, why aren’t we already there?
- When we eagerly await heaven, what should we be waiting for?
- Ultimately what will transform our position of perfection into an actuality?