A Word From The Pastor: Dr. Timothy Nelson



Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers... Philippians 3:2

The Apostle Paul confronted the Judaizers described in the New Testament. These false teachers asserted that Gentile converts must believe in Jesus and do works of the Law, such as circumcision, to be declared righteous before God (Acts 15:1–35; Gal. 5:2–6). Even the Philippian church needed to be warned about the Judaizers, and we find this warning in the third chapter.

Using the word dogs, Paul ironically contrasts the Judaizers’ false gospel with the true Apostolic gospel (Phil. 3:2). The ancient Jews typically did not keep dogs as pets because most dogs living in ancient Israel were wild, unclean scavengers. In turn, the Jews often applied the word dogs negatively to Gentiles, for they regarded non-Jews as unclean. In calling members of the Judaizers “dogs,” Paul warns the Philippians that these Judaizers are dangerous and threatening.

Just as there were false teachers in Paul’s day, intent on compromising the Gospel, the church often contends with false teachers today, intent on compromising the truth of God’s Word. Just as believers needed to heed Paul’s words in the 1st century, believers must heed those words today - “Beware of the dogs.”

Adapted from: https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/the-threat-of-legalism/

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