This is a striking text of Scripture: “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh…” (Philippians 3:2-3 NKJ).
It begs the question: “Who are these evil people the Apostle Paul is talking about?” and “What are they doing that is so evil?”
The people are the Judiazers and the thing that they are doing that is so evil is boasting of and trusting in their own religious works to earn them merit and justify them before God.
This is a common warning throughout Scripture. From Genesis – Revelation Scripture teaches that we are justified by faith, not by works (Genesis 15:6; John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9, etc…). But in Philippi and the other New Testament churches there were false teachers, the Judiazers, that were teaching justification by faith + works.
We must be diligent to guard ourselves against this false teaching and to expose and correct it when we hear it. Galatians 2:21 sums this up well: “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” If works are required for salvation, then the cross was not necessary.
The good news is that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2). His work on the cross was sufficient to pay for the penalty I deserve for my sins (Romans 6:23). I beg you to trust in Christ alone today for your salvation, and reject the common heresy of salvation through being a “good person.”
Blessings in Christ,