“Watch out for dogs, watch out for evil workers, watch out for those who practice mutilation”
— Philippians 3:2
The Apostle Paul warned the Philippian Christians about evil workers, whom he called dogs. What they were doing was an attempt to add something to the Gospel. These are the kind of people that Paul condemned in Galatians 1. In Galatians 1 he is talking about those who are calling them to some other kind of Gospel. This is a Gospel that is antithetical to the grace of God, the grace of Christ. This is the Gospel that always has to add something more. Well, yes, salvation by grace through faith is good and nice—BUT it is not enough. You have to add circumcision, you have to add the Mosaic ritual or you have to add baptism or you have to add some kind of sacramentalism, or you have to have the baptism of the Spirit—you have to have something in addition. They are never satisfied with simply the pure Gospel of the grace of Christ.
In this text, Paul is talking about the same Judaizers. They were claiming that Gentiles could be saved through faith in Jesus—as long as they added to it circumcision (“mutilation” in Philippians 3:2). We can add nothing to the finished work of Christ on the cross. It is the Gospel of Christ as it was proclaimed by the Apostle Paul, as it was enunciated by Augustine, as it was systematized by Calvin, and it is the purest expression of the Gospel of grace that there is—salvation by grace alone.
“Oh to grace how great a debtor, daily I’m constrained to be.” Yes, Lord, Your grace is all sufficient and never ending. I thank You and praise You that You have poured out Your grace on me…
BY GOD’S STRENGTH, HIS
GRACE HAS SAVED US.