It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
In this reading I sensed again Paul’s affection for his readers. He recognises that they are young in the faith and need all the encouragement he’s capable of providing for them.
He gives a fatherly warning to his ‘family’ in Philippi. He wants them to be well equipped to stand firm against those who would insist on circumcision.
Paul affirms that the ”circumcision’ ‘we have received manifests itself in worship by the Holy Spirit giving glory to Christ Jesus. In Him we put all our confidence, certainly not in the flesh. In other words there is nothing about ‘flesh’ which can benefit our personal relationship with God.
Taking up Paul’s comment on having no confidence in the flesh, I realise that the subtleties of modern western society can distract me from giving glory to Christ Jesus as the centre of my life.
My question is: Is my life so interwoven with society that I would find it impossible to focus exclusively on Christ? I know I need to constantly monitor my lifestyle to ensure that Christ is supreme.
I ask you Holy Spirit to rid my life of anything which distracts me from intimacy with my God. Increase my awareness of the fact that there is nothing in this ‘world’ which enhances my relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Written by Keith Bennett