Paul considered all his past gains as a circumcised Jewish person as a loss, because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ since there is more value in knowing Jesus Christ. Thus, he had suffered many losses as if they were all rubbish. He was able to gain Christ and have righteousness with Jesus Christ, that comes not from the law but through faith in Christ. He wanted to know more about the power of the resurrection. He wanted to share in Christ’s sufferings and death, but at the same time achieve the resurrection from death like Jesus Christ.
Paul had confidence in human flesh, since he had been circumcised on the eighth day of his life. He was a member of the people of Israel from the tribe of Benjamin. He was a Hebrew born of Hebrews. He was a follower of the law as a zealous Pharisee. He even persecuted the early Christian church communities. He followed the law blamelessly and righteously. He was a true circumcised Jewish person, more so than other Jewish people.
Paul said that he was going to repeat himself to help the Philippians. Paul warned them about the dogs, the evil workers, who try to mutilate their flesh. True circumcision worships in the Spirit of God and boasts in Jesus Christ, not human flesh.
However, Paul said that he was going to send Epaphroditus, who was also a co-worker with Paul. He had been sent by the Philippians to Paul. Epaphroditus had been ill, so sick that he nearly died. Paul did not want him to suffer any more. The Philippians could then rejoice in seeing him again. Thus, Paul wanted them to welcome back Epaphroditus, since he had come close to death in his service to Jesus Christ. He wanted all of them to rejoice in the Lord.
Paul said that he was going to send Timothy, since there was no one as like-minded as him. He was genuinely concerned about their welfare. He was not like many other people who were seeking their own interests, not that of Jesus Christ. Timothy was like a son to Paul, since he served with him in spreading the gospel of Jesus. He hoped to send Timothy soon and then he would visit them also.
Paul said that the Philippians should always be obedient as they work out their salvation in fear and trembling, since God worked in them. There should be no arguing or murmuring, so that they would be innocent children of God, shining like stars in the world among a perverse generation. Then Paul could boast about them on the day of the Lord that he had not labored in vain. Instead, he would rejoice with them. Thus, together they both would be glad.
Paul said that Jesus Christ did not exploit his divinity, but he emptied himself as a human slave. He humbled himself to the point of death on a cross. God then exalted him, so that he has an exalted name above every other name. Thus, every knee should bend to him. Every tongue should proclaim that Jesus Christ is the Lord.
Paul said that the Philippians should be encouraged and consoled in Christ and the Holy Spirit. They should have compassion and sympathy with one mind. There should be no selfish ambition or conceit. They should regard others as better than themselves. They should look to the interests of others, and not their own interests, so that they would have the same mind as Jesus Christ.
Paul wanted the Philippians to live their life worthy of the gospel of Christ. Whether Paul was with them or absent from them, they were to stand firm in the gospel. They were not to be intimated by their opponents. God has given them the privilege of believing and suffering in Jesus Christ. They would have the same shared struggles as Paul himself had.
Paul believed that he was going to be saved from his present circumstances. He was not going to be put to shame. Christ would be exalted in him, whether in life or death. If he continued with his human body, he could do fruitful labor. He was not sure which he preferred, a human life of work or a divine eternal rest with Christ. Obviously, it would be far better to depart this life for an eternal life with Christ. However, it would be better for them, the Philippians, if he remained in his human flesh. What is best for them? Paul hoped he would remain with them as they progressed in a joyful faith. He wanted to come to the Philippi again, where together they could boast about Jesus Christ.