Picking Fights

Paul doesn’t trifle with enemies of the Gospel. The tone at the beginning of Philippians 3 is confrontational and provoking. Adding works of any kind (especially circumcision) undermines the doctrine of grace. When you imply that works on the front end earn grace, or that something of your own doing preserves grace, then you rob the gospel of its power. Paul’s intense language, referring to these adversaries as dog faced evil workers of mutilation, is in stark contrast to the almost lethargic posture he takes toward the ancient version of Fundamentalists. The church in Roman had a group of people defined by unnecessary lifestyle choices. Caution about crossing the line made them draw their own a few steps back. The apostle is very careful not to insult them. Christians embracing their liberty were forbidden from throwing it in the face of these weaker brothers. Both groups feel justified in their positions. Both groups are encouraged to coexist in harmony. Neither is forced to switch sides. This is what a healthy church looks like. It is foolish to escalate hostilities over preferences of Christian liberty. We need to pick battles wisely, but when we go to war, fight to win.

One thought on “Picking Fights

  1. Loved this message so convicting and challenging seeing how living by Grace and By sound doctrine coincide. How some choices aren’t wrong just different versus Paul’s attack of works to earn grace is false doctrine & he attacks it with so much zeal!

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