Philippians 3:4-6

4 Though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so:

5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee;

6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

Paul demonstrates that, according to the law, he has more to boast about than even the Judaizers.

stock of Israel (v.5) — descended from Jacob (Israel) — of original stock, not proselytes

tribe of Benjamin (v.5) — not one of the 10 tribes which had fallen away

Hebrew of the Hebrews (v.5) — no Gentile blood — possessing  superior language and manners — not a Hellenistic Jew

touching the law, a Pharisee (v.5) — devoted, separated to the Law of Moses — one of the conservative leaders, practicing extreme nationalism and exclusivism — taught by Gamaliel (Acts 22:3)

zeal (v.6) = ardor

persecuting the church (v.6) — Paul uses irony to condemn himself

church (v.6) — the local Jerusalem kingdom church — always a local term, distinct from the Body of Christ

righteousness which is in the law (v.6) — obedience to the requirements of the law, including the sacrifices which atoned for his sins

blameless (v.6) — should be “becoming blameless”

The Judaizers had confidence in the flesh. That is, they trusted in human attainments, in the works of man. Theirs was not a supernatural system in which salvation was a work of God for man, but a natural system in which salvation was a work of man for God. They did not believe in a supernatural Judaism in which God had given salvation to the offerer of the symbolic sacrifice by virtue of the merits of the coming true sacrifice for sin, the Lord Jesus. Over against this dependence of the Judaizers upon human attainment and merit, Paul sets his own human attainments and merits, saying that he had more to boast of then they, and yet he had discarded all these and any dependence upon them in order that he might appropriate the salvation which is in Christ Jesus. Thus Paul uses himself as an example to warn the Philippians against the seductive snares of the Judaizers. — Wuest, pages 88-89.

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