Vol. 5, No. 2
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To call someone a dog in Bible times was very degrading. It meant you did not have much use for a person. It meant you thought very poorly of that person. And people did not like to be called dogs.
Dogs in Bible lands many times ran in packs. This means that they organized into groups and stayed together. The dogs sometimes would take over a particular street. They would lie around and make it difficult to even walk through them. The dogs were usually ferocious. They were usually thin and hungry.
They were very protective of the area that they claimed as their own. Thus it could be dangerous to walk among them. They also would fight other dogs that might enter their street. Dog fights usually happened at night and would awaken people. Sometimes dogs would bark and howl all night long.
So you can see why dogs were not well liked in the Bible lands. And you can understand why calling someone a dog was not a complement.
In Philippians 3:2, we read, "Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision." The dogs Paul is referring to are the Christians who were teaching that a Christian had to be circumcised to be a true Christian. These were Jews who just could not give up some of their beliefs from Judaism. They felt that they were still the chosen people of God and could not fully submit themselves to Jesus.
Today we must beware of those who say they are Christians but do not fully submit themselves to follow the New Testament teachings. They may sound very strong in what they say, but we must not allow them to lead us away from the Truth. And we must be careful not to allow ourselves to hang on to false beliefs. We must always strive to live the way the Bible tells us to live.
Keep reading your Bible. Learn what you need to live like God wants you to live. And if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.
I do not want to make light of the association that Christians have with one another. It is a very serious relationship. A Christian must be serious about his life. He must always want to follow Jesus. Sometimes we think of a team as nothing but a group of people who are working together to entertain others -- like a basketball team or a football team.
The team of Christians is not together to entertain anyone. The team of Christians is working together to help each other get to heaven. Christians also work together to convince non-Christians to become a part of the team.
In Philippians 1:27, we read, "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel."
The words "striving together" come from a word which was used for the sport team working together to win a contest. The team of Christians is to have one spirit and one mind. It is to be working together as citizens of the same city. They are to have the same faith. This faith is the doctrine of the Gospel.
A team cannot work together unless all members of the team are playing by the same rules. If they all have different rules, then they cannot be united in working together. Christians all have the same rules. They have the Gospel, the Bible. They must all be working together with the same understanding of the rules, if they are going to help one another get to heaven.
Keep reading and studying your Bible. Learn the rules and work with the other members of the team. And if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.