To Follow Jesus
My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
March/April 2016 Issue – Straight from the Heart, ‘I have you in my heart … all of you share God’s grace with me’ Philippians 1:7
The text set for today’s reading and meditation:
Philippians 3:1-2 (NIVUK): ”Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh.”
In today’s study, we read: “‘Watch out there are dogs about!’ Who is this fierce talk aimed at and why? As with the Galatians, it seems the Philippians were being troubled by some Jewish Christians who wanted to impose on Gentile believers the specific marks of Jewishness – particularly circumcision.
Circumcision, though, was always meant to signify a deeper ‘circumcision of the heart’, accomplished by God Himself. What is more, since Jesus has come, circumcision no longer counts for anything in a disciple’s relationship with God. As far as Paul was concerned, to say otherwise was to threaten the freedom of the gospel of grace.”
It should be remembered that we, who are living under the new covenant, are not bound by the laws given to Israel in Old Testament books such as Numbers, Leviticus and Deuteronomy; with the exception of the ten commandments, which are summarised by the two great commandments: to love God and to love each other in the same way that God loves us.
However, there are ignorant people, who think that we are bound by the laws of the first covenant. They need to carefully read the New Testament, especially the Letter to the Hebrews, which explains the superiority of the new covenant.