Losing Religion to Find Salvation

In 1981, a Minnesota radio station reported a story about a stolen car in California. Police were staging an intense search for the vehicle and the driver, even to the point of placing announcements on local radio stations to help catch the thief. On the front seat of the s … More

Evaluation

In chapter one we learned that circumstances can rob us of our joy. In chapter two Paul showed us how people can also rob us of our joy. Now in chapter three he shows us how we need to be careful as things will also rob us of our joy (v. 7). It is very easy for us to get wrapped up in “things.” Tangible things are not in themselves wrong. In fact God made things, and the Bible declares that these things are good (Gen. 1:31). He even “giveth us richly all things to enjoy (I Tim. 6:17). On the other hand Jesus warns us that our life doesn’t consist in the abundance of what we have (Lk. 12:15).

Paul tells the people to be glad they belong to the Lord (v. 1). He also instructs them to watch out for those who act like dogs (v. 2). He gives three characteristics of what a Christian should be (v. 3):

  1. A person who worships God in the Spirit.
  2. A person who rejoices in Christ.
  3. A person who has no confidence in the flesh.

If being a good Jew was what would get you into heaven Paul would have qualified (vv. 4-6). He was circumcised on the eighth day of the stock of Israel, was a Hebrew of the Hebrews concerning the law, was a zealous Pharisee, persecuting the Church, and being righteous in the law was blameless. These credentials would have impressed any Jew but didn’t qualify him for Heaven.

Application

Depending on Christian parents, church affiliation, baptism or just being good will never make me right with God. I am so thankful that my salvation comes only through faith in Christ and Him alone.

Philippians 3:1-6 (English Standard Version)

Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh-- though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

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