Philippians 3:1-3 says, “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” In these few verses, Paul is warning the Philippians (and us) against false teachers. Here he addresses the false doctrine and actions of Judaizing teachers, those who would try to put the Lord’s people under the law. Paul is not disturbed that he must warn them again about these false teachers. No, it would keep the believers safe by keeping them aware of what they were doing. Indeed, we who know the Lord Jesus Christ as our savior, we who worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in the Lord Jesus…we are the TRUE circumcision. He calls these false teachers dogs, evil workers, and being of the concision. The Lord tells us in Matthew 12:30, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” Those who do not walk in the truth of the Word are against Christ. We need to be aware of that.

Philippians 3:4-6 says, “Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.” Paul then goes on to speak of his past life. If anyone had a right to boast in the flesh, it was Paul. His parents made sure he was circumcised on the 8th day, as was part of Abraham’s covenant (Genesis 17:12). He was a true Israelite, not a proselyte who had joined the Israelite faith. He was of the tribe of Benjamin, the same tribe that King Saul was a part of, as we read in 1 Samuel 9:21, “And Saul answered and said, Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel?” Paul was a Hebrew of the Hebrews. He had been brought up keeping the language and customs of the Hebrews. We know Paul spoke Hebrew from reading Acts 21:40, “And when he had given him licence, Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people. And when there was made a great silence, HE SPAKE UNTO THEM IN THE HEBREW TONGUE.” Paul was a Pharisee, the strictest sect of the Jewish faith. Paul was very zealous in his role of persecuting the church. While the Pharisees were known for being hypocrites, there is nothing to indicate that Paul was a hypocrite, even in his unconverted state. He persecuted the church, thinking he was serving God. He had considered himself as one who kept the Law and was thus blameless. Paul had quite the pedigree, didn’t he? Yet, in view of all this he would go on to say:

“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.” (Philippians 3:7-8). Once Paul came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior through faith, all those things, those lofty positions, and those thoughts of self-righteousness were now seen in view of Calvary…and they were all GARBAGE. These things could not give salvation. Indeed, they were hindrances to his salvation! Paul lost his prominent position among the Pharisees when he came to the Lord. What did that matter to him? It was only garbage to him now. He had come to realize the truth of Matthew 16:26, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” He gladly ridded himself of all these things that he might “win Christ.” All of these grand and glorious accomplishments, the things gained through his birth, his prominence in such a strict sect, and his thoughts of self-righteousness…all these things hindered him from humbling himself and coming to Christ as a guilty sinner. Though the world may respect and admire these things, to Paul as a follower of Jesus Christ, they were GARBAGE! What about you, dear reader? Is there GARGAGE in your life that is preventing you from bowing your knee before the Lord and taking Him as your savior? If so, I plead with you to realize the uselessness of worldly possessions and praise. Cast them off and “win Christ” by trusting in Him. Do not delay! (270.6)