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Philippians 3:9

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

And be found in him - Be found a believer in Christ, not having mine own righteousness - not trusting in any thing I have done or could do, in order to my salvation; relying on no scheme of justification, set up either formerly by myself or by others.

But that which is through the faith of Christ - That justification which is received by faith through the atonement made by Christ.

The righteousness which is of God - God's method of justifying sinners through faith in his Son. See the notes on Romans 3:21, Romans 3:23; (note), Romans 3:25; (note), where this subject is treated at large.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And be found in him - That is, united to him by a living faith. The idea is, that when the investigations of the great day should take place in regard to the ground of salvation, it might be found that he was united to the Redeemer and depended solely on his merits for salvation; compare the notes at John 6:56.

Not having mine own righteousness - That is, not relying on that for salvation. This was now the great aim of Paul, that it might be found at last that he was not trusting to his own merits, but to those of the Lord Jesus.

Which is of the law - see the notes at Romans 10:3. The “righteousness which is of the law” is that which could be obtained by conformity to the precepts of the Jewish religion, such as Paul had endeavored to obtain before he became a Christian. He now saw that no one complied perfectly with the holy law of God, and that all dependence on such a righteousness was vain. All people by nature seek salvation by the law. They set up some standard which they mean to comply with, and expect to be saved by conformity to that. With some it is the law of honor, with others the law of honesty, with others the law of kindness and courtesy, and with others the law of God. If they comply with the requirements of these laws, they suppose that they will be safe, and it is only the grace of God showing them how defective their standard is, or how far they come from complying with its demands, that can ever bring them from this dangerous dependence. Paul in early life depended on his compliance with the laws of God as he understood them, and supposed that he was safe. When he was brought to realize his true condition, he saw how far short he had come of what the law of God required, and that all dependence on his own works was vain.

But that which is through the faith of Christ - That justification which is obtained by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ; see at Romans 1:17, note; Romans 3:24, note; Romans 4:5, note.

Righteousness which is of God by faith - Which proceeds from God, or of which he is the great source and fountain. This may include the following things:

(1) God is the author of pardon - and this is a part of the righteousness which the man who is justified has.

(2) God purposes to treat the justified sinner as if he had not sinned - and thus his righteousness is of God.

(3) God is the source of all the grace that will be imparted to the soul, making it really holy. In this way, all the righteousness which the Christian has is “of God.” The idea of Paul is, that he now saw that it was far more desirable to be saved by righteousness obtained from God than by his own. That obtained from God was perfect, and glorious, and sufficient; that which he had attempted to work out was defective, impure, and wholly insufficient to save the soul. It is far more honorable to be saved by God than to save ourselves; it is more glorious to depend on him than to depend on anything that we can do.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Sincere Christians rejoice in Christ Jesus. The prophet calls the false prophets dumb dogs, Isa 56:10; to which the apostle seems to refer. Dogs, for their malice against faithful professors of the gospel of Christ, barking at them and biting them. They urged human works in opposition to the faith of Christ; but Paul calls them evil-workers. He calls them the concision; as they rent the church of Christ, and cut it to pieces. The work of religion is to no purpose, unless the heart is in it, and we must worship God in the strength and grace of the Divine Spirit. They rejoice in Christ Jesus, not in mere outward enjoyments and performances. Nor can we too earnestly guard against those who oppose or abuse the doctrine of free salvation. If the apostle would have gloried and trusted in the flesh, he had as much cause as any man. But the things which he counted gain while a Pharisee, and had reckoned up, those he counted loss for Christ. The apostle did not persuade them to do any thing but what he himself did; or to venture on any thing but that on which he himself ventured his never-dying soul. He deemed all these things to be but loss, compared with the knowledge of Christ, by faith in his person and salvation. He speaks of all worldly enjoyments and outward privileges which sought a place with Christ in his heart, or could pretend to any merit and desert, and counted them but loss; but it might be said, It is easy to say so; but what would he do when he came to the trial? He had suffered the loss of all for the privileges of a Christian. Nay, he not only counted them loss, but the vilest refuse, offals thrown to dogs; not only less valuable than Christ, but in the highest degree contemptible, when set up as against him. True knowledge of Christ alters and changes men, their judgments and manners, and makes them as if made again anew. The believer prefers Christ, knowing that it is better for us to be without all worldly riches, than without Christ and his word. Let us see what the apostle resolved to cleave to, and that was Christ and heaven. We are undone, without righteousness wherein to appear before God, for we are guilty. There is a righteousness provided for us in Jesus Christ, and it is a complete and perfect righteousness. None can have benefit by it, who trust in themselves. Faith is the appointed means of applying the saving benefit. It is by faith in Christ's blood. We are made conformable to Christ's death, when we die to sin, as he died for sin; and the world is crucified to us, and we to the world, by the cross of Christ. The apostle was willing to do or to suffer any thing, to attain the glorious resurrection of saints. This hope and prospect carried him through all difficulties in his work. He did not hope to attain it through his own merit and righteousness, but through the merit and righteousness of Jesus Christ.
Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 226.1

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. Philippians 3:9. TDG 226.1

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW), 965

Virtues Wanting Among Us—The gold that Jesus would have us buy of Him is gold tried in the fire; it is the gold of faith and love, that has no defiling substance mingled with it. The white raiment is the righteousness of Christ, the wedding garment which Christ alone can give. The eyesalve is the true spiritual discernment that is so wanting among us, for spiritual things must be spiritually discerned (The Review and Herald, April 1, 1890). 7BC 965.1

(Isaiah 64:6; Philippians 3:9.) Ample Provision for All—The true Witness has said, “Buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.” What is the shame of this nakedness and poverty? It is the shame of clothing ourselves with self-righteousness, and of separating ourselves from God, when He has made ample provision for all to receive His blessing (Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists, 139). 7BC 965.2

(Ch. 7:14.) Encouraging Counsel for the Church—The counsel of the true Witness is full of encouragement and comfort. The churches may yet obtain the gold of truth, faith, and love, and be rich in heavenly treasure. “Buy of me gold ... that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.” The white raiment is the righteousness of Christ that may be wrought into the character. Purity of heart, purity of motive, will characterize every one who is washing his robe, and making it white in the blood of the Lamb (The Review and Herald, July 24, 1888). 7BC 965.3

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW), 907

Falsehood Mingled With Truth—As we near the end of time, falsehood will be so mingled with truth, that only those who have the guidance of the Holy Spirit will be able to distinguish truth from error. We need to make every effort to keep the way of the Lord. We must in no case turn from His guidance to put our trust in man. The Lord's angels are appointed to keep strict watch over those who put their faith in the Lord, and these angels are to be our special help in every time of need. Every day we are to come to the Lord with full assurance of faith, and to look to Him for wisdom.... Those who are guided by the Word of the Lord will discern with certainty between falsehood and truth, between sin and righteousness (Manuscript 43, 1907). 7BC 907.1

9 (1 Peter 1:18, 19; see EGW on Matthew 27:45, 46; Mark 16:6; John 1:1-3, 14; Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 4:15). Sufferings of Deity—“In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Men need to understand that Deity suffered and sank under the agonies of Calvary. Yet Jesus Christ whom God gave for the ransom of the world purchased the church with His own blood. The Majesty of heaven was made to suffer at the hands of religious zealots, who claimed to be the most enlightened people upon the face of the earth (Manuscript 153, 1898). 7BC 907.2

(Hebrews 1:3.) A Perfect Specimen of Sinless Humanity—In Christ is gathered all the glory of the Father. In Him is all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. He is the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of His person. The glory of the attributes of God are expressed in His character. The gospel is glorious because it is made up of His righteousness. It is Christ unfolded, and Christ is the gospel embodied. Every page of the New Testament Scriptures shines with His light. Every text is a diamond, touched and irradiated by the divine rays. 7BC 907.3

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 109.1

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. Philippians 3:9. HP 109.1

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