‘A Warning from Paul’ Buddy McCaig
'A Warning from Paul'
Philippians 3:1-6 ”Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, 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.“
In Chapter 1 of Philippians, Paul talks about faith and joy despite his suffering and adversity. In Chapter 2, he calls for the church to become more Christ-like.
In Chapter 3, there is a transition that begins with the word finally. Paul gives three warnings:
#1: Beware of dogs. The Jews often referred to Gentiles as dogs. The Jews were performance-based and believed they would be saved by obeying the Jewish law. The good news of Jesus Christ is that it is salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
#2: Beware of evil works. Verse 3 tells us we are the circumcision. In other words, we are born again and have cut off the evil works we use to do. Our focus is on Jesus who transformed us when we received Him as our Savior. 1 Peter 2:9 ”But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…”
#3: Beware of the mutilation. Paul lists his Jewish Hall of Fame qualifications but he found no confidence in that. Philippians 3:7-8 ”But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ…”
As believers, we have a faith-based work and not a work-based faith.