3 B’s of Being a Christian
What is he saying- rejoice in Jesus, beware of people who are putting things on you that are not of God. We are the people of God- We are the ones who rejoice. We don’t put confidence in that though- we put confidence in Jesus.
Few things I want to pull out of this scripture- but here’s the main point- Faith in Jesus not the Seahawks
- Beware of Dogs
- What paul is talking about in v2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation is talking abou the The judaizers
- Here’s what he judiazers were doing- putting the law on new believers in Christ- People were putting their faith in Jesus for salvation, (gentiles and jews) and there was a contention among them what OT laws the new converts were going to be held to- namely the rites of OT Judaism
- He calls them dogs as a put down- to make clear that what they are doing is deplorable
- Paul so so far as to call these Judaizers Dogs- which is about the worst thing that you could call a guy
- Evil workers are the ones who are actually going around and teaching this stuff- putting it on the gentiles
- The mutilation? This is quite a big put down- he’s specifically decrying the rite of circumcision and calling it a mutilation- which is a straight forward put down to the jews that practice it “mutilation”
- Paul strictly defended the truth of the Gospel in Gal 2
- Gal 2:14-16 v16 “man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ”
- I get it- here’s the people who have been jews for so long and now they have new converts, it would only seem natural that they would have to follow the same rules-
- But Paul strictly warns the Philippian church- don’t let people come into your church and put the old laws upon you
- This was settled in the council of Jerusalem-
- Acts 15:29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality.[g] If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.
- That’s all they said that the new converts had to adhere to as far as the law was concerned- to give them clear direction on what they should be concerned with.
- What does it mean to you?
- Even today- there are people, not judaizers that attempt to put a yoke of bondage upon Christians in regards to the law
- You’ll find that there are movements out there that attempt to convolute the scriptures in such a way that they say that Christians that don’t keep the law aren’t Christians
- I met a lady one time who kept kosher in her house and wanted me to do the same- I was like… huh?
- You are not justified by the works of the law church! You are justified by Christ and him alone! He is your salvation!
- I don’t want to turn this into a teaching on Galatians- but Read it!
- Gal 1:6I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
- Paul wanted the Church to stay true to the true Gospel of Christ- salvation in the Name of Christ
- Gal 6:12As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
- That right there is the truth of the matter- The dogs of the world wanted the Philippians to be circumcised because those that weren’t circumcised would be persecuted
- Basically- be like us or you’ll suffer persecution
- Sound familiar? Folks- right now- today- the world wants to do whatever they can to try to get you to be exactly like them-
- Dress like them, talk like them, live like them. If you don’t? persecution
- Folks- you must be aware of the dogs of this world who will do everything they can to try to put you in bondage to things that are not of Christ
- The Gospel is- Jesus Christ came to save people from their sins- we must defend this
- Jesus compelled us to protect from the dogs-
- Matthew 7:6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
- What are we to do?
- Be the circumcision
- 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit,
- Paul tells the philippian church- “we’re the circumcision”
- Notice- he first says that circumcision is mutilation, and then in the next sentence says “we’re the circumcision”
- See- circumcision was the defining outward example of someones personal piety
- How they verified this, I’m not sure, but for Paul to take the term circumcision from the Jews and apply it to the gentiles- and now say “we’re the circumcision” look at us! It’s a big deal!
- The NT ideal of circumcision is of the heart-
- Romans 2:29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.
- It used to be that following God was an outward act- if you kept the outward you were good
- But the NT is a higher calling- not just outward- but INWARD- allowing God to change our hearts not just what we do
- Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.
- Pauls admonition was not for an outward faith that avails nothing, but a faith that is rooted and grounded in spiritual things
- “worship in the spirit” is a term that Paul uses to describe what the circumcision looks like
- OT worship was outward in the sense that it was the keeping and observing more than it was an inward call of connectedness to God
- John 4:23-24 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
- This was the fulfillment of this that Jesus spoke- a heart of worship that was father centered- demonstrative hearts turned towards God- not just merely outward- but inward
- The OT people didn’t worship in the spirit because they didn’t have the Holy Spirit- so they were unable to worship in the spirit
- This is a promise of God- that he would dwell within us-
- Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh
- With a new spirit and new heart- you can worship in the spirit- mere outward changes are not enough
- This why people who are not saved struggle to worship- they don’t get it- they don’t understand it
- Now- I’m a hand waver- and if you’re not- that’s fine- but you know if you’re worshipping in the spirit or not – because its from the spirit and not the flesh- it comes from within it doesn’t come from the outward
- Every relationship we have in this world you can tell if someone is engaged
- Work, marriage, friendship, neighbors, but when it comes to Jesus, people say “don’t judge” well, typically when something has happened on the inside it is evident on the outside
- What does it mean to you?
- Let God circumcise your heart- worship him in spirit
- If you haven’t allowed the Lord to circumcise your heart you’re not living
- Pray- Lord- circumcise my heart-
- That’s not just an outward example of piety, but a clear distinction that Jesus is in fact Lord of your life- that people would see outwardly what God has done inwardly
- We can’t really show the world our circumcision of the heart- or can we?
- Deuteronomy 30:6 And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.
- This type of circumcision is spiritual and not of the flesh, goes to the soul. The inward man
- Deuteronomy 10:16 Circumcise then your heart, and stiffen your neck no more.”
- Even in the OT the heart was the essence of the relationship with God-
- Let that be YOUR heart! A life that truly, loves the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind and soul
- Its an all-encompassing endeavor
- Hawks frenzy- cars, trucks, clothes etc. Its clear who they are for- what hey are about
- Can’t lie- today my flesh wanted to watch the Game- but my soul? It has to be about Jesus!
- Truthfully, I think it’s a way that we can show the world that we love God more than anything else
4 though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so:
Pauls description of his confidence is directly connected to his Judaism. He describes his opportunity to be confident in his spiritual endeavors precisely by his adherence to being jew
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.
He says, I’ve got the outward appearance, I’ve got the blood line, I toed the line organizationally, and followed every rule.
Look at me and see that this is what a religious follower looks like- boom
But he says- I’m not going to put my confidence in that-
Pauls complete confidence is in Jesus Christ- not in who he is “his flesh”
Romans 3:22 NLT We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
That’s the only card that Paul has- that’s the one he rests on- not what he does
Whats it mean to you?
No different in today’s language
I was dedicated as a child, my parents parents were church going Christians, I serve in my church, I attend services, I tithe, I don’t drink smoke or steal.
But that’s not enough- that’s not what being a Christian is- its putting our complete confidence in Jesus Christ as the one to save us from our sin
2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
THAT’S where our confidence comes from and THAT’S where our confidence should LIE
But that doesn’t mean we go out and live however we want and use liberty as a license
Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
Each day, you can rise up and acknowledge that you are not resting in YOU as your confidence
THAT is true confidence!
2 Cor 3:4-6 READ
5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God,
I walk CONFIDENTLY in my relationship with Jesus- I KNOW I’m going to Heaven! I know my life will be blessed. I KNOW that God will bless the work of my hands. I KNOW that I’m the head and not the tail
But its not ME- its Christ IN ME that I’m confident in-
Gal 2:20 20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.