Philippians 3:2 ESV
“Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.”
A “dog” is often a symbol of a false teacher, and figuratively speaking is a spiritual predator who feeds off others. So, a “dog” is anyone who uses manipulation, trickery, lies, fear tactics, and the twisting of Scripture in order to pressure or to persuade others to follow a particular belief system that is contrary to what Jesus and his New Testament apostles taught.
These spiritual predators will use all sorts of deceptive tactics in order to persuade people their way. They can appear harmless and sincere when it is all an act in order to deceive. They will make professions of faith in Jesus Christ, but not in truth. For they have to first of all gain the trust of the Christian community by convincing Christians they are one of them.
So, depending upon whom they are trying to fool with their trickery, they may make confessions of sin and confessions of faith in Jesus Christ and of changed lives. They may give testimonies of sordid lives now in their pasts and of changed hearts and minds away from those sinful lifestyles when they may still be holding on to their lives of living in sin and for self.
For they are the self-indulgent, the intoxicated to sin whose sins are piled high to heaven. They are those who wander aimlessly who have sinful appetites and longings which rage within them. They are liars, deceivers, and manipulators by practice, so their words can’t be trusted. And they are hypocrites who profess one thing outwardly while they do another.
They profess faith in Jesus Christ but they do not honor Christ as Lord. They do not submit to his Lordship. They treat the Lord’s reconciliation of sinners as though it is not important, as though it has no value. They treat the covenant relationship between the Lord and his people as though it has no significance. For they go on in their sin as though it is no big deal.
And they don’t really want to be reconciled to God, in truth. They want to keep holding on to their sinful cravings. And so they will fight against the truth of the gospel, and they will refuse God’s true gift of deliverance from slavery (addiction) to sin. And then they will lead others to follow them in doing the same. And so this is a warning to us to watch out for those who treat God’s true salvation with disdain. But we should pray for them.
Philippians 3:3-4 ESV
“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.”
When we believe in Jesus Christ with genuine God-given faith we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, no longer as slaves to sin but now as slaves to God and to his righteousness; no longer as obedient slaves to sin but now as obedient followers of Jesus Christ, who is now our life.
Our old lives of living in sin and for self are to be a thing of the past, in truth, and not in performance or profession only. For we died with Christ to sin, so how can we live in it any longer? Now our lives are to be given over to Christ to be lived for his glory and in holiness and righteousness in obedience to our Lord and to his commands (New Covenant).
Now we walk (in conduct, in practice) no longer according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Daily we are dying with Christ to sin and to self and we are living for our Lord in doing his perfect will. Our desire is now to please our Lord with our lives and to no longer live to please our flesh. And we don’t put on a show of righteousness and then continue in deliberate sin.
We do not accept a gospel of men who say that we don’t have to repent of our sins and that we don’t have to obey the Lord Jesus, for we know better. We are not persuaded to conform to the ways of this sinful world and to reject the holiness and righteousness of God. And we are not persuaded that we can claim Jesus as Savior and Lord and heaven as our eternal destiny and yet then go on living in deliberate and habitual sin.
For we take God and his word seriously. We do not treat God’s covenant as no big deal, as though we don’t have to follow what it says. We don’t take God’s grace for granted, either, just assuming that he will forgive all continued and deliberate and habitual sin and as though it is optional if we obey him or not. But we are dying to sin and we are walking in obedience to our Lord in his power and strength.
And one day, when Jesus returns for his bride, we will be received into his eternal kingdom. But the dogs and all those who do evil, in practice, and who do not follow Jesus in obedience, they will not inherit eternal life with God regardless of what others have promised them. They will be cast out into utter darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth because they refused our Lord’s great salvation, in truth.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-11; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Eph 2:8-10]
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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