Crosses             LBG                  HateLove

Devotional - week of May 7, 2006


SPIRITUAL SAFETY NET 

For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.  Philippians 4:1

 

Paul used repetition as a spiritual safety net. Philippians 4:2-3 explains why. The verses read:

 

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 …  

 

The false teachers that Paul referred to as dogs were teaching that one must be circumcised in order to be accepted by God. That is legalism. It is heresy. It robs some people of the abundant life of grace. Paul’s letters indicate that there were many teachers of legalism in his day. The believers in Philippi could not escape this evil influence. Paul had seen others yield to this influence and he saw how it damaged their Christian lives.

 

Paul also understood that man’s sin problem is flesh and that flesh loves to accomplish. Flesh loves to deserve its blessings. Many of God’s children yield to the desires of the flesh and they attempt to serve God in their own strength rather than by faith.

 

Learning anything calls for repetition. In this case repetition is necessary because living by grace is a new concept. Even more repetition is required because living by grace is a totally different way of life. Some believers begin their Christian lives living by grace. Then they fall away when they resort to relying on self.

 

Paul was fully aware of Satan’s activity in turning God’s people from a life of dependence on God to a life of dependence on self.

 

 Paul had seen believers yield to the pressures to turn to a life of legalism for one reason or another. In Galatians 5:4 Paul wrote that those who had turned to legalism had “fallen from Grace.” He knew that one way to fight this temptation was by repetition.

 

Teachers of the life of grace should never hesitate to teach the grace message over and over. Our place is to walk in the Spirit. When the Spirit guides us to teach the message again, we should do so without hesitation. Our repetition provides a safety net for those leaning in the direction of legalism.