Loyalty to Christ’s Gospel
Recognizing the Dangers
Philippians 3 contrasts those loyal to the pure saving faith described in the Gospel compared to the traitorous perversion by those who would add to it the ritual law contained in the Old Testament. These “Judaizers” as they would become known sought to add circumcision as a requirement for salvation, particularly the salvation of Gentile Christians. Paul was livid that these false brethren were so effective in leading many astray from the truth, corrupting the truth surrounding our salvation by grace alone through faith alone.
Paul offered three warnings that describe the behavior and beliefs of those who would corrupt the Gospel.
- Beware of Dogs—Dogs were considered filthy animals to 1st Century Jews, so they loved to refer to Gentiles as dogs, but here Paul refers to these Jewish religious leaders as dogs, especially the Judaizers to describe their sinful, vicious, and uncontrolled behavior.
- Beware of Evil Workers—Judaizers prided themselves on being workers of righteousness, but Paul described their works as evil, as self-righteousness in Paul’s mind was the worst kind of wickedness.
- Beware of the Mutilation—Instead of using the word for circumcision which means “to cut around,” Paul uses mutilation, which means “to cut off.” This is similar to the description of the Prophets of Baal who cut themselves during their showdown with Elijah on Mt. Carmel in I Kings.
Loyalist or Traitor
The traitor would return to America and continue to serve in the military, only he served the British against his former countrymen. He would die in London in 1801, leaving behind a legacy as America’s most notorious traitor. The traitor, Benedict Arnold, whose name is almost a synonym for treasonous behavior so despicable, his many contributions to American Independence before becoming a turncoat are largely forgotten.
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Dennis Call joined the Army as an infantry officer shortly after the 9/11 attacks on our country, serving fourteen years on active duty. During his Army service, Dennis deployed for thirty-three months to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of the Global War on Terror. Prior to joining the Army Dennis served as the Director of College Ministries at First Baptist Church in Texico, N.M. where he mentored students at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, N.M. Dennis and his amazing wife Katie live in Colorado Springs, CO with their five children (four boys and one super sweet daughter).