Philippians 3:2-3 ESV
“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.”
A “dog” is a term usually indicating someone who is spiritually unclean, and it is often also used in Scripture to define someone who is a false teacher and an evildoer. In this case it is describing someone who is pushing a faith that is of the flesh and not of God. It is a faith based in our own fleshly works and not in the works of God which he prepared in advance that we should walk in them (Titus 2:14; Eph 2:10; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13).
So, whether the faith of the flesh is legalism or libertinism, both are of the flesh, and neither are of God. So, whether you add man-made rules onto the gospel or you remove God’s holy and righteous requirements from the gospel and you are teaching a lawless faith, still it is human-based faith and not God-given faith which saves. It is still faith that is made up in the minds of humans and it does not come from God nor is it approved of God.
Legalism used to be a big thing but now the pendulum has swung the other direction and the predominant “gospel” being taught in America in the gatherings of what is called “church” is libertinism (unrestrained by convention or morality, leading to a dissolute life). For they teach we can “believe” in Jesus (undefined), have all our sins forgiven, and be on our way to heaven regardless of how we live our lives on this earth.
So, we are to be on the lookout for these dogs (false teachers) and evildoers who are teaching a false faith not of God which is of human flesh for it glorifies the flesh and not God. And we should be students of the Scriptures who are bathing our minds and hearts with the word of God (in context) so that we know what the Scriptures teach us and so that we will then walk according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh.
Philippians 3:17-19 ESV
“Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.”
In America, speaking from my experience of 72 years, and from what I have observed over my lifetime and read and heard coming from the mouths of these false teachers and their followers, there are not many men of God today who are living holy and pure lives to the glory and praise of God. There are not many godly men who we can view and consider their lifestyles and consider these are people setting the right example for us to follow.
Many men and women today who claim faith in Jesus Christ, some of whom are pastors and elders and deacons and teachers of the Scriptures, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their god is their belly, not God our maker, not Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. And their minds are set (determined, fixed) on earthly things, not on things above, not on the things of God such as holiness, righteousness, honesty, moral purity, and faithfulness, etc.
So many people professing faith in Jesus Christ are not much different from those making no profession of faith in Christ. They have all the same conversations, laugh at all the same jokes, share all the same memes on social media, tell all the same raunchy stories, watch all the same videos, movies, and TV shows, and listen to all the same music, and play all the same games, etc. They are worldly and fleshly and not of God.
Although they profess faith in Jesus Christ it is a faith of the flesh and not of God for it does not give glory to God but to the flesh. For they believe that they can believe in Jesus, be forgiven all sin, and be on their way to heaven, but that they do not have to give up their sinful practices, and that they do not have to follow Jesus in obedience. And so their end is destruction because they refuse to repent of sin and to walk in obedience to Christ.
[Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 1:28-32; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:3-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Jn 15:1-11; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23]
Philippians 3:20-21 ESV
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”
Those of us who have our citizenship in heaven are those who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin and raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. We are those who have been delivered from our enslavement to sin who are now walking (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. And daily by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh and we are walking in obedience to the Lord Jesus.
Now, this does not mean we are perfect people and that we never sin or that we never fail to live up to the standard God has set before us that we are to follow. But what it does mean is that Jesus is our Lord (Owner-Master), and we do follow him with our lives, and sin no longer has dominion over our lives. We no longer live as slaves to sin but as slaves to God and to his righteousness in the power and wisdom and strength we get from God.
But lack of perfection is never to be used as an excuse for continued deliberate and habitual and often premeditated sin against God and against other humans. The Lord does set the standard that we are either those who walk in sin or who walk in holiness. But walking in holiness does not mean we have yet reached divine perfection which we will have when Jesus returns for us, his bride, and he takes us to be with our Lord forever.
Walking in holiness means that we love our Lord and our desire is for him to obey him and that we now live our lives for his glory and praise. We now follow him wherever he leads us and it is our practice to do as he commands. We do not deliberately nor habitually choose to sin against our Lord nor do we refuse to obey him. And we look forward with great anticipation to the day when he comes to take us home to be with him.
An Original Work / November 21, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures
My people have forsaken Me,
Their Savior, who died on a tree;
Made idols, and they worshipped them;
So empty, they will ne’er fulfill.
Lord, You are the hope of Your chosen ones.
Those who turn away from You will be shamed;
The Spring of Living Water left behind.
Living Water satisfies.
The thirsty, let them come and drink;
Believe in Jesus as their King;
The gift of Jesus given them,
So they will never thirst again.
Indeed, the Living Water flows within.
It springs up like a fountain cleansing sin.
Eternal life in heaven promised them.
Living Water glorifies.
Oh people, won’t you come to Him?
Obey Him and repent of sin.
Let Jesus come and live within.
Surrender all your life to Him.
My people, won’t you turn your hearts to Me?
Forsake your idols and then you’ll be free.
Won’t you come now to Me on bended knee?
Living Water sanctifies.