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.
Philippians 3:1-3

The Gospel is the heart of the message of the New Testament.  Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again for our sins. This is the Gospel.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Romans 1:16

Paul knew something about the power of the Gospel!  It has the power to save us and to transform us.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17

The Bible also warned about those who would change the Gospel.

As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Galatians 1:9

What was the Gospel that Paul preached?

The message of the Gospel is that Jesus Christ was buried, and arose again, and anyone can be saved by God’s grace through faith in His Son Jesus Christ- plus nothing and minus nothing.

People pervert the Gospel by adding man’s works to God’s grace.

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.
Philippians 3:1-3

Notice Paul says, “rejoice in the Lord”. Joy is a dominant theme in Philippians and through the New Testament.  The word in noun and verse forms occurs 150 times.

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
John 15:11

In this text Paul connects having joy with having a relationship with the Lord.  To have that relationship you must be saved.   Since earthly things are temporal, they can only give us temporary happiness.

New cars, houses, gadgets, relationships, or jobs will only give you temporary happiness.  Jesus Christ can give us eternal joy.  Happiness is based on our circumstances, but joy is based on our eternal relationship with God.

Notice Paul says “beware”.  This is a command.

Paul gives 3 descriptive names to those who pervert the gospel of whom we should beware:

1. Dogs

Like scavengers. Wild dogs that were dangerous.  Avoid them at all costs. These people changed the Gospel and were dangerous. This was the same term that these legalistic Jews would call the gentiles.

2. Evil workers

Normally people who teach a works-based salvation think they are good.  But Paul taught they were evil workers.  Paul identified with how they thought because he used to be one of them.

And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
Galatians 1:14
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:
Philippians 3:4

Paul had the same mentality.   In verse 7 says Paul said that he sees all that legalistic living as dung now.   You cannot work your way to heaven. If you are trusting anything else to get you to heaven then you are not saved!   One thing you cannot afford to get wrong is how to be saved.

3. The Concision.

Concision means mutilation.  Every Jewish boy was circumcised on the 8th day.

Deuteronomy 10:16

Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.

Jeremiah 4:4

Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

Circumcision wasn’t mutilation by default, but it had become a meaningless ritual. The issue is that no ritual will transform a person’s heart. The only way to be right with God and get to heaven is by trusting in Christ.  Salvation is not the work of man, but salvation is the work of God.  Anyone that tells you otherwise is perverting the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
So, the question is simple.  Are you saved today?

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