Faith Bible Church of Lake Charles
Look Out For False Teachers
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  • Look Out For False Teachers

    Have you ever had a counterfeit bill? That’s never happened to me. But sometimes, today, people can get scammed into buying a counterfeit ticket to a sporting event or concert or even buying a counterfeit product that was cheaply made to look like the real thing.
    The Bible teaches that Satan is a master counterfeiter, trying to pass off on people a version of Christianity that looks good but will not be accepted by God in Heaven.
    It would be embarrassing to be trying to use a counterfeit bill or a counterfeit ticket, but it will be much worse to stand before God one day and hear him say that your Christianity is counterfeit. This is Paul’s warning in these verses. Make sure you don’t accept a counterfeit Christianity.
    Soon after the Gospel began to spread among the Gentiles, some Jewish men who claimed to believe in Christ began teaching the Gentile converts that they could not be saved unless they also were circumcised according to the Law of Moses. They didn’t deny that a person must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, but they added the keeping of the Jewish Law, especially circumcision, to faith in Christ as something necessary for salvation.
    Let’s hear how the Apostle Paul deals with this subject...
    Philippians 3:1 NKJV
    1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.
    As a father protects his children, Paul wanted to keep his spiritual children from harm. Paul wrote the book of Galatians to refute the false teachers and their teachings. Sometimes, children think their parents are being mean when in reality, they are just being protective. And the same is true in the church. Sometimes, people in the pew think the pastor is being mean when in reality, he is only being protective. It sounds like Paul is being mean by calling the Judaizers these names like “dogs, evil doers, etc.” Some of the people in the church may have enjoyed these false teachers and regarded them highly, but Paul was like a protective father warning them of danger.
    In , Paul says “let these false teachers be accursed and let anyone who perverts the true Gospel be accursed.”
    While the Judaizers don’t really exist under that name today, the core of their teachings is still going strong. There are many counterfeit gospels being taught today where people are trying to add to what Christ accomplished on the Cross for man’s salvation. Let’s see what we’re to look out for.
    Philippians 3:1–3 NKJV
    1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe. 2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! 3 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 NKJV
    2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,
    The first thing I want you to be on the lookout for is...

    Look out for the false teaching that you are right with God because of your heritage

    Philippians 3:2–3 NKJV
    2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,
    Who are these “dogs” Paul is talking about? They are the Judaizers. “Dogs” was a racial slur used by the Jews towards the Gentiles. It referred to packs of wild dogs that used to raid the garbage and eat anything they could find. In Bible times, dogs were not pets. Dogs were scavengers. They were not picky about what they ate. They ate garbage.
    Since the Gentiles were not concerned about clean and unclean foods or about purifying themselves according to the Jewish rituals, the Jews viewed them as unclean dogs. Gentiles were not allowed into the Temple to worship because they were deemed “unclean.”
    When a Jew called a Gentile a “dog”, he was showing ethnic pride and acting as if he was better because of his heritage. Paul is taking that slur and turning it back on the false teachers. He is saying “You Judaizers are not right with God just because of your Jewish heritage.”
    There are some people I have met who think they are going to Heaven because they are a Baptist. They were raised in a Baptist church, and they think that earns them some favor with God. If you are trusting in being a Baptist, a Methodist, a Presbyterian, a Lutheran, or a Catholic, you have a counterfeit Christianity. Your church heritage does not gain you any favor with God.
    Your family heritage doesn’t either. You are not saved because you had Christian parents. God doesn’t have grandchildren, only children. Just because you have a godly heritage of parents and grandparents doesn’t mean you are right with God. You have to personally be saved.
    It’s crazy, but some people think they are saved because they are an American. They think God favors Americans over any other nationality. They couldn’t be more wrong. God is not Pro-America. God loves the people in Russia, North Korea, and Afghanistan as much as he loves the people in America.
    Religious pride, family pride, racial pride, national pride, is all offensive to God and it often keeps people from being saved. We have to humble ourselves and admit that we are sinners and that we must trust Christ for our salvation and repent of our sins to be saved. It doesn’t matter what church we grew up in, who our parents were, or what our race or nationality is. We are all sinners and we need to be saved.

    Look out for the false teaching that you are right with God because of your good works

    I’ve heard it. And I’m sure you have also. I’m trying to do good so I can go to heaven. But that’s not the answer. Let’s look at verse 2.
    Philippians 3:2 NKJV
    2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation!
    Paul also called the Judaizers “evil workers.” The Judaizers prided themselves on their good works. They worked very hard at keeping the Law. Outwardly, they were good, moral people. But their good works were evil in the sight of God because they were trusting in that instead of trusting in Jesus. God’s Word says that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags in the eyes of God.
    They were proud of their morality. They were glorifying themselves for what they had done and thereby they were nullifying what Christ had done for them on the Cross. This is why Paul called them “evil doers.”
    The reason God gave the Law was always to cause people to see their sinful condition. It was never intended to make people trust in themselves. Paul called the Law a schoolmaster to teach us that we need salvation. The Law is a mirror to show us how dirty we are, not a sink to clean us up.
    Make no mistake about it - if you are saved, you will show it by good works and morality. But it is not your good works that save you. It is Christ who saves you and He causes you to do good works by the Holy Spirit who indwells you.
    It is not we who are to be glorified because of any good works we do. It is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit who deserves the glory. The order of salvation is essential. Works do not come first. Faith comes first, then works. That way, God gets all the glory and we get none.
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    Ephesians 2:8–10 NKJV
    8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
    We are saved by grace not by works. We are saved through faith in Christ. It is not our own doing. Salvation is a gift not a reward. If we did anything to get saved, we would receive glory. But since we did nothing, God gets all the glory. We did not choose Him. He chose us. We were dead in our sins and He brought us to life. He gave us the will faith to believe in Him and the will to repent of our sins. We get none of the glory, and He gets it all.
    So, beware of the false teaching that you are right with God because of your good works.

    Look Out for the false teaching that you are right with God because of your religious rituals

    Every faith has them. Every denomination has them. Some rely on them more than others. The meaning of these rituals can be easily distorted. Let’s see what Paul says in verse 3.
    Philippians 3:3 NKJV
    3 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 NKJV
    2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,
    phil
    Paul calls the Judaizers “those who mutilate the flesh.” This term is in reference to what heathen people did to get their gods’ attention. They would cut themselves. When Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal, they cut themselves to try to get Baal to show himself strong. ()
    Paul calls the Judaizers “those who mutilate the flesh.” This term is in reference to what heathen people did to get their gods’ attention. They would cut themselves. When Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal, they cut themselves to try to get Baal to show himself strong. ()
    The Judaizers were teaching that Gentiles had to be circumcised or they would not go to Heaven. They thought that the ritual of circumcision gained them favor with God. Circumcision has no more value than what the heathen people did in cutting themselves to get their gods’ attention if it replaces faith in Christ as the basis of belonging to the people of God.
    The Judaizers were teaching that Gentiles had to be circumcised or they would not go to Heaven. They thought that the ritual of circumcision gained them favor with God. Circumcision has no more value than what the heathen people did in cutting themselves to get their gods’ attention if it replaces faith in Christ as the basis of belonging to the people of God.
    Even the Old Testament prophets taught that circumcision as an outward sign has no value unless it is a sign of a spiritual attitude of submissive obedience to the will and word of God.
    Even the Old Testament prophets taught that circumcision as an outward sign has no value unless it is a sign of a spiritual attitude of submissive obedience to the will and word of God.
    Today, there are many people who mistakingly think that religious rituals like baptism, communion, or church attendance gets them into Heaven. But like Jesus said to Nicodemus in , “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
    Today, there are many people who mistakingly think that religious rituals like baptism, communion, or church attendance gets them into Heaven. But like Jesus said to Nicodemus in , “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
    So that I am not misunderstood, I think every Christian ought to be baptized. And I think every Christian ought to take communion after he is baptized and after He has examined his heart and made everything right with God. And I think every Christian ought to attend church. But those rituals don’t save.
    So you don’t misunderstand, I think every Christian ought to be baptized. And I think every Christian ought to take communion after he is baptized and after He has examined his heart and made everything right with God. And I think every Christian ought to attend church. But those rituals don’t save.
    In , Paul explains this further.
    Romans 4:1–12 NKJV
    1 What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. 5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.” 9 Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, 12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised.
    In , Paul says “we are the circumcision.” He is not talking about the Jews, although Paul had a Jewish heritage. He is talking about the church. The church is made up of Jews and Gentiles who put their trust in Jesus Christ. We are true Christians because we have trusted in Christ and not in ourselves.
    And our hearts have been circumcised, not just a part of our bodies, but our hearts. Like Paul said in , , “8 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter.”
    The reason Gentile believers in Christ should reject the requirement of the Judaizers to be circumcised is that they already are the circumcision. By faith in Christ, they were the people of God. They were part of God’s covenant people.
    Conclusion:
    So what is the application here? What do true Christians do? They rejoice (verse 1) and they worship (verse 3) and they glory in Christ (verse 3).
    We are not to boast in ourselves. We are to boast in Christ. We are not to go around telling everyone how great we are, how smart we are, and how successful we are. We are to go around telling everyone how great Jesus is, how loving He is, how holy He is, how powerful He is. Boasting in ourselves is sinful pride, but boasting in Jesus deflates our pride and gives all the glory to Jesus. The only thing we are great at is sinning, but Jesus is a great Savior!
    So, look out for false teaching and counterfeit Christianity. Anything that causes man to trust in Himself or glory in Himself is a false religion. It will not get you into Heaven. The only thing that will is trusting in Christ alone and being born again.
    And if you are not saved, I urge you to put your trust in Christ alone as your Savior. Admit you are a sinner and don’t deserve God’s forgiveness. Turn from your sin to following Jesus. And then profess your faith in Christ by being baptized and identifying with Jesus.
    And if you are saved, rejoice! Even in sorrow, rejoice! Rejoice in your salvation. Rejoice not in your circumstances but in the Lord! Rejoice that He is your Father and that Heaven is your home.
    If you are saved, worship in the Spirit. Love Jesus with all your heart. Worship him not in a ritualistic way but in a meaningful way.
    If you are saved, glory in Christ and what He has done. Not in yourself, but in Him. Give Him all the glory!
      • Philippians 3:1NKJV

      • Philippians 3:2–3NKJV

      • Philippians 3:2NKJV

      • Ephesians 2:8–10NKJV

      • Philippians 3:2–3NKJV

      • Romans 4:1–12NKJV

      • Bible Trivia
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