by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
Philippians is Paul's love letter. The epistle is also a good instrument for learning the secret of this great man. Paul considered living Christ and dying gain. And, although he wrote from a prison cell, his refrain was "Rejoice in the Lord always."
It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again. and it is a safeguard for you (Phil. 3:1).
Now Paul is going to tell the Philippians something he has told them before. He justifies the repetition by saying that it's no trouble for him and that it will be good for the readers. And then he speaks of justification by faith in Christ.
These words encourage preachers in particular. Their pride tells them that they should always have something new to say, as if they were entertainers. But the household of God needs staple foods at regular times. The theme of sin, salvation, and service must be repeated over and over. The "old, old story" never tires us and is good for all (although it doesn't always need to be sung to the same tune).
The opponents whom Paul calls "dogs" are of Jewish ancestry, as was Paul. Jews were quick to call "Gentiles" dogs. But since Christ has come, none of us, not even the Jews, may "rely on the flesh."
Christians are God's people, he says. And our "flesh," or race, has nothing to do with that. "It's worship in the Spirit" and "it's reliance on Christ Jesus" that make us part of the "circumcision," if you will. That's how God counts his people.
This sermon needs to be preached more often. It should not bother the preachers, and it is good for the hearers: "Never mind where you come from—as long as you are now in Christ."
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version