Blameless Under the Law

Only because there are so-called “super apostles” going around trying to one-up Paul and take over his established churches, does Paul resort to listing his own superior accomplishments. Paul says he’s a Pharisee of Pharisees and blameless under the law, only because the “super apostles” have said they were super Jews and exceedingly meticulous about observing the law. Paul says he’s blameless only as a counter to their arguments. In theological terms, Paul knows that no man is righteous and no man does good. He’s speaking at a different level here in Philippians, than he did in early Romans. Paul speaks at the level of the common man—on the surface. In everyday talk, one might say to a judge, “I’m innocent!” Certainly, that person is not making a theological statement, meaning he has lived a completely perfect life. Rather, on the surface, he is making a general claim about a particular behavior. In Philippians, Paul speaks in a base way—a way that people can easily understand. He isn’t being particularly picky theologically.

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