There is Only One Way pt 1

Jun 14, 2022 // By:Dave // No Comment

1:1 – 11

prayer of gratefulness 

and prayer that they continue into greater expressions of faithfulness and love

1: 12 – 26

is about how he is following Christ’s example

1:27 – 2:18

is encouraging them to follow Christ’s example

2:19 – 30 gives two examples of “Christness” (Timothy and Epaphrodites)

this week…

3:1 – 4:1 Paul’s example

  • former life vs new life
    • circumcision of the flesh compared to circumcision of the heart (true circumcision)
    • human credentials and accomplishments (steaming pile of dung) vs knowing Christ
    • human righteousness vs righteous of Christ imputed through faith
    • living in the power of the resurrection
    • serving now, sacrificing now (surrendered his former status like Christ did)
    • awaiting the day we are rewarded, transformed in our bodies, and perfect into the likeness of Christ
    • reminds them to stand firm in the Lord (in the lifestyle he outlined) and be his joy and crown

3:1 ¶ Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you.

brethren = ἀδελφοί = relatives in nationality or nature. (close comrades)

safeguard = ἀσφαλές = firm, steady, immovable

  • we have the word asphalt = paved roads or paths are far firmer and flatter than plain dirt (resisting water, etc)
  • this may not mean much where we live (our roads are more like the moon surface) but dirt is far more easily moved around, washed away, or dug up when exposed then when it is paved over, firmed up, made secure.

in closing, my brothers (by nature of Christ mindedness), be full of joy in the Lord. I have no problem repeating my self in what I have already written, and it help you to stand firm.

I love this …

Paul says, so in closing, be joyful, I dont mind repeating myself for your benefit (and then goes into a whole different trail of testimony)

if I did this, it would be more accurate to say 

“in closing ..  just kidding I’ve got more to say, oh yeah don’t forget to be joyful !   LOL

We see the same thing from Peter

2 Pet 1:13-15

Recognize our need to hear the same thing

Why ?

to remember

3:2 ¶ Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision;

it is possible that Paul is using a label that Jews used to describe gentiles in irony

Matt. 15:21aJesus went away from there, and withdrew into the district of bTyre and bSidon.

Matt. 15:22 And a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, “Have mercy on me, Lord, aSon of David; my daughter is cruelly bdemon-possessed.”

Matt. 15:23 But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, “Send her away, because she keeps shouting 1at us.”

Matt. 15:24 But He answered and said, “I was sent only to athe lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

Matt. 15:25 But she came and abegan 1to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”

Matt. 15:26 And He answered and said, “It is not 1good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”

Matt. 15:27 But she said, “Yes, Lord; 1but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”

Matt. 15:28 Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, ayour faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed 1at once.

dogs    κύων   kyōn   5x  

a dog, 

Mt. 7:6; Lk. 16:21; 2 Pet. 2:22; met. a dog, a religious corrupter, Phil. 3:2; miscreant, Rev. 22:15*

Matt. 7:6 ¶ “aDo not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Peter, talking first about false prophets and corrupts of the faith, turns his attention to the demographic of those who talk or act like they are converted when they are really not and walk away:

2Pet. 2:22 1It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “aA DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”

Paul says these dogs are evil workers, evangelizers of a false gospel, what he calls here a false circumcision

Rom. 2:25 ¶ For indeed circumcision is of value if you apractice 1the Law; but if you are a transgressor 2of the Law, byour circumcision has become uncircumcision.

Rom. 2:26 aSo if bthe 1uncircumcised man ckeeps the requirements of the Law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision?

Rom. 2:27 And ahe who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Law, will he not bjudge you who 1though having the letter of the Law and circumcision are a transgressor 2of the Law?

Rom. 2:28 For ahe is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh.

Rom. 2:29 But ahe is a Jew who is one inwardly; and bcircumcision is that which is of the heart, by the cSpirit, not by the letter; dand his praise is not from men, but from God.

Titus 1:10 ¶ aFor there are many brebellious men, cempty talkers and deceivers, especially dthose of the circumcision,

Gal. 5:2 ¶ Behold I, aPaul, say to you that if you receive bcircumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you.

Gal. 5:3 And I atestify again to every man who receives bcircumcision, that he is under obligation to ckeep the whole Law.

Gal. 5:6 For in aChrist Jesus bneither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but cfaith working through love.

Gal. 6:15 For aneither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a bnew 1creation.

Gal. 5:12 I wish that athose who are troubling you would even 1bmutilate themselves.

Paul is being quite clear on this:

anything added to the gospel means two things:

  1. you have corrupted the gospel in your own mind (and likely to encourage others to do the same)
  2. you do not understand the gospel and Christ is no benefit to you.

John 19:30 it is finished, (= paid in full)  nothing needs be added (if you think you need to contribute to his payment for your sins then you do not yet understand that He paid for them at all.

He is saying that anything added to the payment of Christ is going back to paying through the law (a law which cannot restore the relationship between God and man.)

3:3 for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,

Paul has more reason than most to have confidence in satisfying the Jewish law:

He has a pedigree.

(lawyers show off diplomas from Harvard and Yale

business executives boast about working in fortune 500 companies

christian pastors may show off diplomas from Dallas Theo. Seminary)

Paul has a jewish diploma to show off

3:4 although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more:

3:5 circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee;

3:6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.

3:7 ¶ But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.

  • circumcised on the 8th day (according to abrahamic convenant)
    • the child experience one shabbat before the ceremony (just as offerings needed to be at least 8 days old Lev 22)
    • the mother gets to attend (since she is ritually impure  for the first 7 days, no intimacy included in this one)
    • physiological benefits (immature nervous system, but highest peak in vitaminK for blood clotting)
  • pure lineage of Israel
  • Benjamite (of of only two tribes along with Judah which was the leadership tribe who stayed loyal to the Davidic line of kings during infighting when Rehoboam rule was being challenged by the other tribes
  • Hebrew of Hebrews (not merely jewish in name but in lifestyle)
  • pharisee (most accomplished of law keepers and ruler over Hebrews) (Matt 5:20 “unless your righteousness exceeds…)
  • zeal (I chased down and attacked false faiths (like an immune system attacks infections in a body)
  • righteousness (blameless)  (Rom 3:23)

this remarkable diploma from the university of Israel would be the envy of anyone Jewish

(it could only be added to be him become head of the sanhedrin, which is was likely on the fast track for becoming)

He calls this something to be cast away in favor of something better

loss = ζημίαν = detriment, damage incurred as result of something (collateral damage) sake of Christ

3:8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,

rubbish = σκύβαλα = rubble, worthless refuse, trash

3:9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,

I am not exchanging one path to God for a better one

I am exchanging what I now know to be a dead end, for the one path that leads to the Father (John 14:6)

the law does not make one a child of God (it simply reminds one that they are not)

a dog does not become a cat by learning to purr and chase mice

it’s nature must first change, before it’s thoughts and behavior can change

(hence the words of Jesus in John 3 , 

3 you must be born again to see the kingdom of God)

5 you cannot enter (enjoy , partake)

this is the way Paul is referring to:

understanding the kingdom

becoming part of the kingdom as a child, 

rather that being an outside trying to obey it’s rules hoping to be let in


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