Cold Formalism or Unconventional Ways

"... no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles, and both are preserved." Luke 5:37-38     The bottles referred to here were actually containers made from the hides of animals. When these wineskins were new, they were pliable and somewhat elastic. But when they became old, they were stiff and inflexible. If new wine was placed in old skins, the f...

From Legalism to Liberty (Philippians 3)

“From Legalism to Liberty: The Affirmations of the Apostle Paul”

Phil. 3:1-21


Given to encourage the Philippian believers in the faith and to avoid the doctrine and attitudes of false teachers.


1. The Apostle’s Admonition (vv. 1-3)

To rejoice in the Lord—the theme of this epistle-repeated again in 4.4

It was not a tedious thing but safe for him to remind them of the need to avoid, false teachers who had mixed legalism with grace calling them “dogs”, “evil workers” and their work of circumcision as “mutilation” God’s strong attitude against those that oppose His grace. The true Christian worships God in the Spirit, rejoices in Christ, and does not trust in the flesh.


2. The Apostle’s Achievements (vv. 4-6)

If legality were the way to heaven, his credentials would easily exceed those who advocated this approach to salvation. Seven achievements are listed: four natural, three attained. Circumcised on 8th day as was Isaac (in contrast to Ishmael in the 13th year - Gen. 17.25) of the favored nation of Israel, of the faithful tribe of Benjamin, born of parents who were both Hebrew, of his own volition – a Pharisee, a persecutor, and perfect as concerning the law.


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