Matters of Faith: In A Fallen World!

Romans‬ ‭2:25-29 NKJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

“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.”

‭‭‬‬‬‬In a world that prides itself on accomplishments and achievements, then rewards itself with trophies and medals to memorialize those moments, it’s easy to see how we fool ourselves into thinking that these things somehow give us favor with God. ‬‬

In this section of Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, he emphasized that Jewish people were just as guilty of sin as the Gentiles (non-believers), even though they professed to follow the law of Moses. The Jews were thinking that if they kept the law, they would find favor in the eyes of the Lord. Paul here looks at the act of circumcision, a sacred ritual established by God as an outward expression of a work of God in the heart. However, the Jewish converts made a mockery of the practice by making it mandatory for Gentiles in order for them to become followers of Christ. Paul points out their hypocrisy, saying that the breaking of any of the Mosaic Laws renders physical circumcision of no effect. The person who is considered a Jew is the one whose circumcision is not of the flesh but of the heart.

Since sin entered the world, we have lived in a fallen world. Therefore, the Lord looks for and wants authenticity in His true followers. They are identified not by the physical circumcision of their flesh, but by their circumcision of hate from their lives. We are told to love one another, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35). This is not earned favor; it is given to the righteous.

Trophies, awards, ribbons, or acclaim does not gain God’s favor. Neither did the false, self-seeking, outward performance of many converted Jews in the Roman church. In a fallen world, God’s favor is reserved for those persons who are Jews on the inside, or as Paul says, “he who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.” This is a call to self-examination and a reason to ask, “where do I stand in this fallen world?

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company and The J. Loren R Consulting, LLC for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting, an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, creator & host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook LIVE and author of Matters of Faith: The Book ((eBook available at Smashwords).

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