Word for the Day
Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false religionists; for we have the true religion, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh. (Philippians 3:2-3)
Pastor Spencer - In the Middle East of Paul's day - and this is still true today - about the worst thing one could say about someone or some group was that they were "dogs." While dogs may be man's best friend, they have also been called "vultures on four paws!" Dog will eat just about anything, dead or alive! Thus, they were seen as the most "unclean" of all animals - even more so than pigs. So, for St. Paul to refer to his religious opponents as "dogs" was given them a huge insult. But it is an insult they deserved, for while these religious fanatics pretended to be ultra pious and spiritual, they were, in reality, great enemies of God and Christ's Gospel. They were attempting to burden people with all kinds of rules and regulations that they would have to keep in order to gain God's good favor. Theirs was nothing more than the old heresy of salvation by works under the guise of holy spirituality. Such are still quite popular today, both within and outside the visible Christian Church. Some unChristian cults, like the Jehovah Witnesses and Latter Day Saints, are quite blatant about their work-righteousness, and are quite easy to spot. Others, like the liberals and progressives within Mainline Christianity, are more subtle and therefore in a way more dangerous. Theirs is a clever, hidden work-righteousness, that purports to be grounded in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but uses His holy name and His beautiful message more like a club to force Believers to do the works THEY think are correct and holy. They are just as wrong. Believers put no trust in worldly ideas of good and bad, but know we are saved by grace alone through faith alone, and this motivates us to serve God and our fellow man as our conscience leads us. That's enough for us - that's enough for Jesus!