Paul was constantly aware of the problems caused by false teachers. The Jews referred to Gentiles as dogs, but he referred to the Judaizing teachers as dogs. He reminded the Philippians that the fleshly demands of the Jewish law were useless under the law of Christ. Spiritual circumcision was of the heart instead of the flesh as practiced by the Jews.
Jews placed a high value on the deeds of the flesh. If anyone was qualified to boast in the Jewish flesh, it was Paul. He stated that he was “circumcised the eighth day, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.”
All of the elite fleshly qualities of an upper-class Jew with their prestige and honors were counted as garbage by Paul. They were lost as he lived the Christian life, but nothing can compare with the gain of one’s eternal salvation with Christ.
According to Paul, man cannot expect to gain eternal life through his own righteousness or that of the law of Moses. Eternal salvation is through faith in Christ which leads one to do the things that Christ has commanded even if he must suffer persecutions.