Finally brothers, rejoice in the Lord!
It’s no burden to safeguard repeating this word.
Watch out for the dogs who do evil work,
They enforce mutilation of flesh as they smirk.
But we know that we are the true circumcision,
We who worship and serve through God’s Spirit’s provision,
who boast in Christ Jesus without confidence in flesh,
Though I’ve myself reasons to boast, lets refresh:
If any thinks confidently in his flesh, well,
In the flesh I’ve more reason for confidence to tell.
According to law I was, on the eighth day,
Circumcised so that by flesh I convey
I am of my people, of Israel, we through
the Benjamin tribe are Hebrews of Hebrews.
In observance of law I was as Pharisees,
As for zeal, you’ll recall I did persecute thee,
I opposed the church then, thinking it shameless.
Thus for righteousness under the law, I was blameless.
But whatever gain I had, I count it as loss,
For the sake of my Christ and his holy cross.
Indeed I count everything loss for the worth,
For the surpassing worth to know Jesus on earth.
For his sake I’ve suffered the loss of all things,
And I count them as garbage, to have what He brings.
It is Him I may gain, and in Him be found.
For now my own righteousness is not the ground,
Nor is any righteousness based in the law,
But that which through faith in Christ comes is my awe:
The righteousness from God on the basis of faith.
To know Him, His power and all that He saith,
To die as he died, to know suffering and dread,
And so somehow attain resurrection from the dead.
To be sure, I have not taken hold of this already,
I’m not now in perfection, yet my goal is steady,
I press on to take hold of it and make it my own,
Since indeed Christ now owns me and by Him I’m known.
Brothers, I do not consider myself taken hold of it,
But one thing I do, and this for my benefit:
Forgetting what lies behind in my past,
And straining for what lies ahead, forward cast,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the call
Which is heavenward of God in Christ above all.
Let all mature ones adopt this same thought,
And those who think otherwise not be forgot,
For God will reveal this to each of you too.
And to all, as for what we’ve attained, let’s hold true.
Join together my brothers in imitating me thus,
And observe those who walk in accordance with us.
For many folks, as I now tell you with tears,
Walk as enemies to Christ and his cross, it appears.
Their end is destruction. Their belly is their God.
With minds set on earth, their own shame they applaud.
Yet we citizens in heaven, awaiting a savior,
Know the Lord Jesus Christ will transform our behavior,
and transform our low bodies into glorious jewels
By that power which subjects all things to His rule.
St. Michael, Pray For Us