June 25, 2019

Philippians 3:2-3

Paul is warning the church to watch out for those “dogs, evildoers and mutilators of the flesh.” Whoa! Who in the world is he talking about with such strong words? Paul was referring to two main groups of people: fanatical Jews who were seeking to win converts at any cost and Judaizers (Jews who professed to be Christians but insisted that all Gentiles submit to the Mosaic Law in order to have salvation). Both of these groups were a threat to the unity of the church. Dogs were not house pets in that day but were semi-wild scavengers. They were associated with uncleanliness since they didn’t discriminate regarding their food. Ironically, some Jews referred to Gentiles as dogs since they didn’t eat according to the law. Paul turns their words against them. They are evildoers because their work is not what leads to salvation. And their circumcision is a false circumcision or a mutilation of the flesh because it was meaningless. The only circumcision God cares about is spiritual, not physical. Any addition to the free grace of God through Christ for salvation is a perversion of the Gospel. Jesus is enough.