Paul seems to say that he had been blameless when it came to God's law, which is not true
are many Christians who do not understand correctly what Paul said in Philippians
so they believe he was a perfect man before he became a
Christian. This is one of the
times where the brothers can see the difficult way of talking of the Apostle
to the Gentiles. When what Paul
says seems to go against what the rest of the Bible
says, we need to find its logic
and not believe blindly and without due analysis what he
says. In Philippians
"4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless". (Phil 3:4-6)
If we were to interpret what Paul says without analyzing it, we could reach the false conclusion that Paul was faithfully obedient of all of God's law, and therefore was irreprehensible. This would happen if we don't realize that what Paul says here goes against what the Bible says in other passages. The Bible says that there has been none righteous, not one; therefore, Paul can't say he was blameless. We need to understand one of two things: either Paul is lying or we have to look for what it is he wants to say with the word "law".
He says that as to the justice that is in the law, he was blameless. Evidently, Paul was not going to lie; therefore, he is talking about the ritual law, of which he was blameless, because as a Pharisee he would make every effort to comply with all the rites, traditions and ceremonies, besides tithing the rue, the dill, the cumin, the mint, etc..
We need to only slightly reason to realize that Paul cannot be talking about God's law regarding human behavior, because in the same passage he confesses to being a persecutor of the church, like most Pharisees. They murdered Christians without a previous trial, or with rigged trials, and that is not obeying the law of God. They brought in false witnesses, as we can see in Acts 6:13-14 in Stephen's case and that is against God's law for human behavior.
Paul himself confesses in Acts 26:10-11 that he forced some prisoners to blaspheme. A man that acted as such could not be a faithful follower of God's laws for human behavior, but merely a faithful follower of the ritual law. Thus when Paul speaks, and in such it seems to contradict what the rest of the Bible says, we have to analyze what he says. That is the problem with the brothers who misunderstand Paul, attributing to him the abolition of God's law for human behavior.
And set up false witnesses,
said: This man
ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against
this holy place, and the
14 for we have heard him
say, that this Jesus of
Which thing I also did in
"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief". (I Tim 1:15)
In this last passage Paul himself confesses that he is the first sinner; therefore, when he said that touching the righteousness which is in the law he was blameless and irrepressible, he could not be referring to God's law for human behavior, but to the ritual law. Not only do we deduce that Paul cannot be referring to behavioral law, but he himself confesses that what he was a faithfully follower of was the traditions. Let's see.
For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews'
religion, how that beyond measure
I persecuted the
It is clear in this passage, Paul persecuted God's church and destroyed it; these are not the qualities of a man that is blameless in God's laws for human behavior.
Paul makes it clear that he was the most fanatic to the traditions. It is those traditions and the ritual laws that he is referring to when he says that the law is obsolete, not the behavior laws. We have to be very careful when we understand that Paul is saying something that is not in agreement with the rest of the Bible. In this case we can see that most of the times, the word "law", in Paul's mouth, means the ritual laws.