Skip to main content

Philippians 3:5: Circumcised On The Eighth Day


Philippians 3:5
[5] circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; (ESV)

If you were to ask people on the street why they believe God should allow them into heaven when they die, you will probably get a majority of people listing for you all kinds of "good deeds" they have done that somehow merit eternal life. They may cite money they have given to feed the poor, time spent with underprivileged kids, or even church attendance.

Paul is dealing with people who believe that because of their Jewish heritage they have an in with God and are deserving of eternal life. These Jews have a big problem with Gentile Christians who claim to have eternal life simply by believing in Jesus Christ while not embracing all of the rites and rituals of the Jewish faith. Paul now says to the Jews, "You think you are righteous based on your Jewish background? If it was about that I would be in way before you all!"

Paul is a circumcised Jew. He is of the small, favored tribe of Benjamin. He describes himself as a Hebrew of Hebrews. And probably the most significant aspect of his credibility was his being a Pharisees. The Pharisees were the teachers of Jewish Law. Here is how Jesus himself described the Pharisees:

Matthew 23:3–6
 [4] They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. [5] They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, [6] and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues (ESV)

Paul was a Pharisee. He knew about all of the burdens of legalistic righteousness. He had performed all the rites and rituals. And he knew it wasn't enough. Same is for you. Without the work of Christ on your behalf you will never see heaven.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Romans 8:18: For I Consider That The Sufferings Of This Present Time Are Not Worth Comparing

Romans 8:18 [18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV) Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic. Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison. Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death,

Romans 11:24: For If You Were Cut From What Is By Nature A Wild Olive Tree, And Grafted, Contrary To Nature, Into A Cultivated Olive Tree . . .

Romans 11:24 [24] For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. (ESV) We continue looking at the illustration of an olive tree. The root of the tree is the covenant relationship relationship of God with Abraham. Abraham's faith is what this spiritual tree is built on. The first branches would have been the faithful people of Israel, who like Abraham, placed their faith in God. They believed God, just like Abraham, and it was credited to them as righteousness. There were branches of the people of Israel who never placed their faith in God. Because these branches were not true followers of God they were broken off of the tree. Faith in God was the essential element that made the branches true branches of this spiritual tree. Some branches remained. Others, the faithless unbelievers, were removed. After Jesu

Romans 3:18: There Is No Fear Of God Before Their Eyes

Romans 3:18 [18] “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (ESV) Should we be terrified of God? There are many who think that God is only a God of love and not to be feared at all. Is God a God of judgment? The Apostle Paul is going to bring us some perspective on how how we should approach God. This verse is a quote from the Old Testament and is a statement on the overall condition of humankind in every generation. First of all, we are going to need to define the word "fear." This idea of fear is not necessarily terror, but rather it is a healthy sense of awe of God's greatness. It is astounding how man can look at God, and see all that he has made, and not be overwhelmed by a sense of awe at his greatness. I think of how man has come up with a theory of evolution primarily to excuse their ignoring of God. As a result of ignoring God's greatness and refusing to give him the glory that he deserves there is another aspect of fear that man should have. Man