THROUGH THE BIBLE IN THREE YEARS
I believe Paul was the first preacher to use the word "finally" (Gk loipon) as a way of concluding thoughts.
Of course, as with all preachers, it really didn't mean "finally!"
It just means the preacher has gotten his SECOND WIND!
1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.
2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.
First, let's do our rejoicing "in the Lord" Jesus!
He is trustworthy!
Then, beware of people who call themselves Christians, but really are "enemies of the cross!"
18(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
Of course Paul's reference here is to Judaizers, or Jews who tried to get Christians to live according to the law.
However, the reference can also be made to anyone who tries to subvert the Christian faith.
Paul refers to them with three specific terms:
"dogs," "evil workers," and "concision!"
Paul is not referring to 3 different sets of people.
He is referring to the SAME people in three ways.
"Dogs" were what Jews called Gentiles for centuries.
"Evil workers" explains their intent to subvert the real meaning of Christianity.
And, of course, "concision" means mutilators!
The conclusion, then, simply means: don't allow people to take you away from the truth of the gospel of Jesus.
Salvation doesn't come by our works!
Works, in Christianity, are what we do because of our salvation!
No one will ever earn his/her way into salvation!
Salvation comes "..by grace, through faith," (Eph 2:8) and is NOT of works!
So, REJOICE in Jesus!
BEWARE of subvertors!