Spiritual “Surgery”

In the concluding paragraph of chapter 2 Paul points out that the covenantal practice of circumcision given by God to the Jewish people is not of itself something that brings one close to God.  Circumcision was given to the Israelites as a sign of their covenantal connection with Him. It was an outward symbol of something else on the “inside”.  But circumcision itself was not spiritually significant; rather it was intended to be a sign of something on the inside.  Here is what Paul writes in verses 25-29:  “25 For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? 27 And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law? 28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.”  The “surgery” of circumcision on the outside is not as important as the surgery that God does on the inside.  If the Jews were relying on their covenantal relationship with God, they were making a mistake.  The “circumcision of the heart” is what is most important.  The same is true for us today.  God is not impressed or moved by our exterior practices; rather He is moved by our interior love for Him and others.  Your race or your spiritual heritage might score you some praise from men but not from God.

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