Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith. Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved. For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!” Philippians 3:1-4 NLT
Whether Paul lived to return to them or died at Rome, he wanted the believers in Philippi to rejoice in Christ. He reminded them to stay firm in their salvation through Jesus Christ and not to listen to the false teaching of the dogs (Judaizers, legalists, Jews who were teaching that someone had to be circumcised to be saved). Using the term "dogs" to refer to Jewish false teachers was ironic because the Jews often used that term to refer to the Gentiles. Dogs in that time were considered disgusting to the Jewish people because they were scavengers and would eat anything. The Jewish people were very strict in their diet (see Leviticus 11). Paul goes even further, calling the Judaizers "mutilators" because they were knife happy. They wanted to have every male believer circumcised. This cutting away of flesh was, in Paul's words, mutilation. On the eighth day after birth, every male in the Jewish home (including servants, slaves, foreigners, as well as their children). was circumcised as a covenant act that was established with the Abrahamic covenant (Genesis 17:12). This was before the law of Moses was even given. However, Jesus had ratified a New Covenant. His blood had been poured out for the sins of all. His body had been slain for all. He is our circumcision!!! (Philippians 3:3; Colossians 2:11; Galatians 5:6; 6:15; Romans 2:28). Paul was a religious man if there ever was one and, yet, he realized and accepted the truth that no one could boast in their own merit. Christ and Christ alone!!!!!!!
Rev. Curtis Norris