As a parent, we take all precautions to safeguard our children. "Don't play by the stove!", "Stay away from that sharp knife!" or "Don't talk to strangers!". We do all of those to protect our children from something that might hurt them. Apostle Paul in our text this morning did the same thing.
He began by saying to church to rejoice in the Lord, a theme that we find throughout this epistle. Then, he proceeded by giving them a warning for their safety. "Beware," he said. Beware of who?
Beware of the Judaizers. We might ask what was so big deal about these Judaizers that Paul warned the church as if some evil persons wanted to kill them. He even called them, dogs (to be exact feral dogs), evil workers, and concision ( a term which meant mutilators which refers to a circumcision).
Wow, Paul, why are you so angry at these people? In Verse 3, Paul said that he himself WAS a Judaizer. He gave his credential as a Judaizer in Verse 4-6.
What is so bad about Judaizer and their belief? The Judaizers believe that in order for someone to get salvation from their sins, one must be circumcised and must follow the law of Moses. And when they came to any church, they would tell the believers that it was not enough for the faith in Christ to save you, but you must also be circumcised and be the rigid follower of the law of Moses, of which Paul was one.
In Verse 3, Paul said important things for us as a believer. We worship God in the spirit which refers to our connection to God - not based on location, we rejoice in Christ Jesus which refers to our daily joy as the result of obeying and following Jesus and that our confidence is not on our work of righteousness but rests on the finished work of Jesus on the cross.
This morning, the Holy Scripture is calling us to be careful and be mindful of our faith in Jesus Christ. Our salvation is based on our faith to the finished work of Jesus Christ. Our faith is not on anything that we do, but what Christ has done for us. And that is the reason for us to rejoice today!!!
God bless all of us today, Amen.