April 15, 2021 - Pastor's Corner
We are continuing our journey of pulling out brief insights from Paul’s letter to the Philippians. As we do this, please remember that the overall theme of this letter is the gospel’s impact on our personal lives as expressed in a corporate setting. That is, the truths we see in this brief letter by Paul should impact us first as we live them out among our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, namely, the members of the biblical local-global church we belong to.
For today, our specific focus is on 3:2-11. Please take a quick moment to read these verses anew. From it comes the following insights:
- It’s clear that Paul has a serious problem with “those who mutilate the flesh.” For he calls them “dogs” and “evildoers.” Knowing that the righteousness “which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith,” is the immediate context we find Paul’s displeasure with flesh mutilators, coupled with the fact that the gospel permeates this little letter, we conclude that Paul’s problem is with those who wanted to force the Philippians to pursue acceptance from God through the work of circumcision. Do we have a problem with people who mutilate the flesh, people who teach and promote working for salvation? Does it bother us when we encounter folks who try to imprison others with heretical teaching?
- Christians are those who depend on Jesus alone for salvation. That’s what Paul meant in verse 3. In fact, we are so appalled at anything that we or others might consider brag-worthy, that we consider them “rubbish,” worthless, and ineffective in effecting our salvation. We willingly and fully give up all efforts and pretense before God and depend on Christ alone for salvation.
- Our resolve to depend on Christ alone for salvation motivates us endure anything that comes with such an undeserved gift. For we know that God’s resurrection power is active in our lives to enable us to live like Jesus in this fallen world. This is the experience of “righteousness” from God that “depends on faith.” Trusting God to live the life of Christ through us in every circumstance of life.
As always, I encourage you to read ahead to prepare for our time next week—Philippians 3:12-16. Beloved, may grace and peace be yours in abundance from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!