Summary: Five things you cannot trust for salvation
Warnings About Salvation
The gospel message is a wonderful message isn’t it? God is in control of all things: He has brought us together today and has done so because He has a great message for us. If you are already saved, the message of salvation excites you and inspires you. The gospel message is one that the child of God should never tire of hearing. However, if you are not a child of God the gospel message is the “power of God unto salvation.” If you have never trusted Christ as your personal Savior today your greatest need is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
There are two kinds of religion in the world today. They have always existed and will until Jesus returns. They are the religions of faith and flesh. What does that mean? It means that you have two options concerning heaven and salvation. Flesh religion is that religion that says your getting into heaven is dependent on you and what you can do and how faithfully you can do it. Faith religion on the other hand isn’t really religion at all. It is a relationship that is dependent on a decision you make concerning the person and work of Jesus Christ.
In our text, Paul points out that he is a child of God and that his relation to Christ has nothing to do with his flesh. As Paul wrote, he knew that the legalistic Jews of his day were zealously trying to keep the people under the law, and even believers were returning to that way of life. They held God’s favor and judgment for wrongdoing over the people, and set themselves up as the standard by which all other people would be measured.
Paul saw right through all of that, so he warned the Philippians against these men we call Judaizers. In the verses we are considering, Paul assumes a role that he once lived. He recognized that in spite of his warnings about the wrong positions of the religious leaders of the day, there would still be those who would make the same wrong decisions he had made.
There is only one way to heaven. There is only one way to be made right with God, to have peace with Him, to have a relationship with God the Father, and today I want you to know that way. As we think about it, I want to give you five warnings about salvation from Paul’s as mentioned in Philippians 3:1-6.
“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 the dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other think that he hath reasons for which 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.”
Don’t Trust In A Rite
Paul said that he had been “circumcised the eighth day…” The rite of circumcision was the sign of a special relation to God. It dated all the way back to God’s covenant with Abraham, when God had given the instruction that all the men in Israel were to be circumcised, and then as each male child was born, he too was circumcised on the eighth day of his life. This rite was extremely important to the Jews, and it became a rite to boast about.
Paul had many arguments with the Jews over this rite of circumcision. The Jews really believed that because they had observed this rite at some point in their lives they had good standing with God, but they were wrong. This rite and any other one was simply an outward act that was supposed to mark an inward relationship, but it didn’t. In the second chapter of Romans, Paul argued the point like this,
“For circumcision is a good thing, if you keep the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision is made uncircumcision, your good standing with God is messed up. Therefore, if the uncircumcision, or the uncircumcised ones obey the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for righteousness? And shall not uncircumcision, which is by nature, if it fulfills the law, judge you, who by the letter and circumcision does transgress the law? For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God.”