Please Help Us Keep These Thousands of Blog Posts Growing and Free for All
Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you. (Philippians 3:15)
When one comes upon a “therefore” in the Scriptures, they should ask what the “therefore” is there for. It is always a connecting phrase (Paul uses this quite frequently when drawing a conclusion) to take the reader back to what has been said to establish the following conclusion.
Paul has been establishing that one cannot be perfect in this life. We are to strive for it as he has been building the case, but it is a continuous goal to be sought. Paul now encourages the Philippian believers (and us) to hold the same attitude (φρονέω phroneō) or to have the same mind or thoughts as Paul. He says that for those who are complete in Christ if we are growing and maturing in Christ, we will be in the same accord as Paul has said.
“[A]nd if in anything you have a different attitude…” or has a different mind, in other words, if they think they are perfect – Paul turns them over to God to reveal (ἀποκαλύπτω apokaluptō ) the truth to them.
We see in the Scriptures that there are three stages of perfection for the believer. First is positional perfection or justification (Heb. 10:14; Col. 2:10). Next is progressive perfection or sanctification (2 Cor. 7:1; Eph. 4:11-12; and Gal. 3:3). Finally, there is ultimate perfection in heaven, or glorification (Eph. 5:27; 1 John 3: 1-2). Some believers are happy to settle for just the first stage – justification. They consider themselves mature in Christ just by being justified through His death. Others are pleased to settle for the second level and consider themselves mature and perfect – not needing anything else. Paul challenges the Philippian believers to set their eyes on the mark of true final perfection. Paul says that God will uncover this for them to see.
More in-depth Insights
Let us therefore, as many as are perfect. See the Bible Difficulty section at the end of this chapter for more details. The Greek (τέλειος teleios) here rendered perfect has the sense of being spiritually mature or a state of being spiritually mature.
And if in anything you have a different attitude. One way to progress toward spiritual maturity is to develop a correct mental attitude. The spiritually mature Christian attitude will bring about victories in a fallen world. Paul’s words here involve following in the steps of Christ Jesus. Jesus prayed to his Father: “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me together with yourself, with the glory which I had with you before the world was.” (John 17:4-5) If we are going to have a righteous standing before God, which will result in our receiving the prize of eternal life, we must have the mind of Christ, the same attitude that is.
God will reveal that also to you. If there are Christians who think that they are spiritually mature enough and have no need for further progress, they have the wrong attitude. This one has failed to have the mind of Christ, has failed to embrace Christ’s mental attitude. (Hebrews 4:11; 2 Peter 1:10; 3:14) This person is not beyond help, as God can help change their attitude, or some unexpected life event can also help change it. Paul says: “If in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you.” God will correct our erroneous attitudes and reveal the significance of making continued progress in our spiritual maturity.
Again, we do have a Bible Difficulty to look at in this passage. In this verse, Paul calls upon those who are perfect to think and act like him, yet in verse 12, he said he was not perfect and needed to press on to achieve this. Which one should we believe? See the Bible Difficulty section at the end of this chapter to discuss this issue further.
SCROLL THROUGH DIFFERENT CATEGORIES BELOW
BIBLE TRANSLATION AND TEXTUAL CRITICISM
BIBLICAL STUDIES / INTERPRETATION
CHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM
CHURCH HEALTH, GROWTH, AND HISTORY
 Refer back to the discussions on the mind of Christ in chapter 2, verses 5 – 11.
 The word means to uncover or unveil. In this particular use of the word, it is in the subjective heading – something is presented directly to the mind. W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1996). Pages 531-532.
 Jerry Falwell, Edward E. Hindson and Woodrow Michael Kroll, , Liberty Bible Commentary, ed. Jerry Falwell, Edward E. Hindson and Woodrow Michael Kroll (Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson, Inc., Publishers, 1983). Page 2447.