We need to watch out for the dogs. We read in Philippians chapter 3 v 2: Watch out for the dogs, those people who do evil and manipulate you saying you must be circumcised to be saved. For we who worship God by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Jesus Christ has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, though I could put confidence in my own effort if anyone could. If others could put confidence in their own efforts, I have even more…And Paul goes on to talk about how he as a law abiding, 10 commandment keeping, Jewish law following Pharisee, should have been saved under the law. But he said I count it all as worthless now. That is why he said to watch out for the DOGS. We know the dogs dear friends, are the false preachers who will try and tell you that you got to be saved through Jewish law. You got to be saved through circumcision. Now they don't stop there, they also say you got to be saved through sabbath keeping and got to be saved through the Torah and the 10 commandments and all these laws and stipulations that God gave. Does it mean that these things are a BAD thing? No, certainly not! Circumcision is not a bad thing, sabbath keeping is not bad, nor is keeping the commandments of God.
These are GOOD things. The law is GOOD. It is mankind who is evil. That is why we need to have salvation through Jesus Christ. We need to have faith in him because if you don't have faith you are not going to be saved. It is not through human effort of trying to keep the sabbath as best you can, and being circumcised and ticking all the boxes off on the 10 commandments, no. That is not going to save you, you will still end up in hell. And anyone who preaches that that will save you, by ticking all those boxes off and religiously keeping the sabbath, or being circumcised, and making sure you honour your parents and do all the things on the 10 commandments, if preachers say that you got to do all these things for salvation, they are DOGS. That is the dogs. As we read, "Watch out for the dogs who say you must be circumcised….to be saved. It is not true. We are not saved by the law, we are saved by FAITH. Now I will read what Paul said, "I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law, rather I become righteous through faith in Christ. For Gods way of making us right with himself, DEPENDS on faith. I want to know Christ and experience his power that raised him from the dead." Dear friends, this is why when we follow Christ and we have faith in Jesus alone to save us, what happens is we no longer rely on our own being good to save us like all these dogs, do, these preachers who preach the law to be saved. It is a manipulation.
What happens is when we follow Jesus and have faith in him, his righteousness comes into us. The law is good yes, but it cannot save. You go and judge people because they don't keep the sabbath like you think they should do, you are a dog. Why? Because we are trying to bring people under the law if we think that this is the way for salvation. The truth is dear friends, salvation comes through faith which brings righteousness into the heart of a believer. And a believer who is following Jesus, fulfils the law. They are not dishonouring their family, they law themselves down for their brethren, they fellowship with the brethren, that is what laying yourself down means, you don't live your own life anymore, but you live for others helping them enter the kingdom by being a good brother to them and shining the way. Living the truth. It means that you no longer just live for yourself in sin, because the righteousness of Christ has come into you, so you fulfil the law. Jesus is the Lord of the sabbath so when you are following him, you are fulfilling the sabbath also because all you are interested in is doing good on the sabbath and following Jesus and obeying him like the apostles did. You no longer live by the letter of the law; Thou shalt not kill etc…all these things. These things are good, but will not change your heart. No matter how much you tick the boxes believing you are saved through doing these things just like the rich young ruler did. He was hoping to hear that he would be saved through his commandment keeping which he was doing a good job of in his eyes. But when he was told that you got to go follow Jesus, he could not. And Jesus said sadly after him that it is very hard for a rich man to be saved. Why? Because they trust in themselves. And so while we are trusting in the commands and the law of Torah to save us, then we preach that on others, we are being dogs. We are being the manipulators that Paul warns to keep away from, who say that we got to do these things to be saved. And if you are not circumcised or keeping the sabbath according to them, then you are not saved. That is why they are manipulators, dogs, because they are preaching the wrong gospel.
But we know that we who obey and follow Jesus, are circumcised in the heart. So it is not like we break the law and don't get circumcised. Don't forget we are gentiles not jews (a lot of us). But when we come into a covenant with God, we no longer need to be circumcised, we get circumcised in the heart. The same goes for the other parts of the law. We no longer need to strive after not committing adultery, because we are not going to be committing adultery in our heart because Jesus is there. We don't need to strive after loving God, because the love of God will come into our heart. We don't need to strive after religiously keeping the sabbath for our salvation, and condemned if you don't, and tithing and other things, because the generosity of God will come into your heart to give so you just got to submit to his Spirit and be led by his Spirit and go where he leads you. Spend the Sabbath praising the Lord doing his work if able, because you are free in Christ to not be fearful before the Lord as a striving commandment keeper, but as someone who is free in Christ, who has the freedom of God in them, because they can come before God in prayer and he will hear their prayers. It is all about faith in Jesus Christ. Paul cemented that fact and that is why he got persecuted because nobody wants to hear you just give away all this religious striving, to have faith in Jesus to be saved. They all want to have all these things that you got to do. This and that. But when we follow Jesus we live by faith. The only thing we nee to do when we follow Jesus, is obey him and focus on him. We listen to his voice. That is where we obey him by listening to his voice and what he wants you to do. You go and get baptised into his name and follow him till the end. It is all through faith. May the Lord bless you. ...