Heal The Land Daily Devotional Archives

Devotionals By The Heal The Land Ministry

Concerning Circumcision

Posted by Job on March 1, 2007

Galatians 6:15-For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. 

In many places in the New Testament, Paul vehemently argues against circumcision. Further, in I Corinthians, he defends eating things sacrificed to idols. So, in general, is there anything wrong with getting circumcised or with circumcising your kids? Of course not! Similarly, should you eat things sacrificed to or be anywhere near an idolatrous ritual? Of course not! With Paul’s letters, you must do two things: remember the main point and remember the context.
The context is important because Paul’s letters were to the first Gentile Christians. These people had lived their entire lives apart from a culture shaped by Christian values, or even apart from Jewish ones. They had no concept of virtuous living because they lived in polytheistic pagan cultures, which not only allow hedonism but encourage and insist upon it! One of the very reasons why Jews and Christians were so hated and oppressed was because of their refusal to adopt the pagan religions with its accompanying hedonistic lifestyle. And this is where so many Christians trip up, not only when it comes to missionary work in non – Western cultures but even when it comes to dealing with people from certain backgrounds: when a person accepts Christ though the spirit may be cleansed in the blood of the Lamb, the mind and the body are still in need of renewal. Aside from miraculous transformations, you cannot expect a person to completely abandon everything that they knew before and rigidly adhere to a new lifestyle, especially if that person’s previous background and culture did not condition them for it. Remember: our life is not our religion, which is ritual, tradition, observance, and lifestyle. Our life is Christ. Those things may enhance our relationship with Christ, but they are not our relationship with Christ! Our relationship with Christ is faith and love, and it is well worth the trade to give up the religion for the relationship. Many times the religion has the real potential to become a hindrance to the relationship, and when that happens the religion has to be discarded. And this is what Paul was preaching. It was unreasonable to expect a bunch of people raised in a pagan culture and surrounded by a pagan culture to overnight start adhering to the strict Jewish laws, traditions, cultures, and lifestyles. Not only had Jews been practicing these things all their lives and their forefathers before them for thousands of years, but they were not keeping what they were trying to push onto Gentile churches themselves! These people were not going to be saved by the law for they were not keeping the law. They also had no real interest in the salvation of the Gentiles, because if they were they would have tried to convert the Gentiles to the law before, which they did not. They only tried to impose the law on the Gentiles because the Gentiles were being saved by grace. Their specific hope was that by insisting upon the law to the Gentiles they could get the Gentiles to give up on or reject both the law AND grace. Paul’s goal was to get the Gentile Believers to continue in faith and to build upon what they had and allow the process of the Holy Spirit’s renewing their mind and body to take place. It was not going to happen by religion; it was only going to happen by faith and love, and Paul did whatever he could to minimize the burden on the Gentile Believers until that process continued to fruition. Meanwhile, the false Jews sought to maximize that burden in order to get the Gentile Believers to give up before the process took place. Why? Because the fake Jews knew that if the former pagan hedonists were to become more righteous than the fake Jews who had made their religion into their idols (which is what always happen when you lose your love and faith), then it would prove Christianity to be true (including but certainly not limited to things touching Christ’s being the Son of God resurrected and ascended) and their religion to be a lie.
 

And that brings us to the main point: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Paul went back and forth, even appearing contradictory at times, on some things concerning personal behavior (although he did draw the line in some areas i. e. fornication and adultery) but the area where he never wavered is that we are saved by God through faith in His Son and receive transforming power through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we are to seek and concern ourselves only with things that are from and of God through the Son by the Holy Spirit. Not only is nothing else necessary, but nothing else matters, and other things are probably a snare to you. Why concern yourself with something that is not going to save you from the lake of fire? Why concern yourself with something that is not going to result in your getting a blessing? What good is anything without salvation, without faith, without love? If you are found wanting of those things on judgment day, it would have been better to have never been born! Of course, people want to do things to set themselves apart; to please the Lord and show themselves worthy before Him. Fine. But why worry about that stuff if you don’t have the basic things, the things that determine whether you go to Heaven or not, taken care of? You have a lot of people who are living holy but do not have a bit of faith or love. Such people are going to take their holiness straight to the lake of fire. Meanwhile, people who are just unable to get out of the street, people who are just unable to straighten themselves out and get themselves together, well they are going to go to Heaven because they were able to receive God’s grace through salvation, faith, and love. You can fast, you can sing, you can dance, you can heal, you can cast out devils, you can prophecy and interpret every day and every night of your life for the next 100 years, but if you are doing all that without knowing why you are doing it or who you are doing it for, you are wasting your time! Not only are you wasting your time, but you are on your way straight to hell (or more accurately the lake of fire where hell will also be cast into)! You urgently need to give up your vain works and your holy lifestyle and concentrate all of your energies on believing in the God of the Bible, believing in His Son and His Resurrection, asking God to forgive your sins, and asking Him to give you love for Him and love for your neighbor. If you do not attain those things, you will not go to Heaven. So in light of that, how foolish is it to do anything else? But do not be mistaken, the lake of fire will be full of religious fools; CHRISTIAN religious fools … preachers, teachers, evangelists, ministers, elders, deacons, old church ladies … the lake of fire is going to get full of them because those folks will have mastered everything but what really matters! Do not let it happen to you. Stop worrying about the outside of other folks and start paying attention to your inside. Once your inside is right you will start caring about other folks’ inside, and then you will have the faith that the Holy Spirit will work on the inside AND the outside of all who believe, and even if the inside and outside never get together then well so what everything will be alright because we are still going to Heaven despite our messed up condition because we took care of the most important thing which was being saved by grace! So yes, Paul did say to the Corinthians that if you are saved by grace, eating things sacrificed to idols will not send you to the lake of fire. And Paul further said that if you have to eat something sacrificed to an idol in order to get someone else saved, them do it. On judgment day, God will forgive those who ate things sacrificed to idols. God will NOT forgive those who did not believe in and accept Him in spirit and in truth, which means through His Risen Son! 

So remember, get your inside right first. Say the Salvation Prayer. If you have already accepted God through His Son Jesus Christ, then seek the fruits of the Holy Spirit to renew your inside. After that happens, then everything else just falls into context. And if you have already made an oral testament to your belief, keep saying it. It is helpful to say it once a day. Not so you can “get saved again in case you have sinned.” Do not fall into that, such is false doctrine, faithlessness, unbelief! No, do it so that you yourself can always be reminded of not what you are, but how you became, and so you can impart and represent it to others! Always remember that you are not saved by works; that you are not saved by your own righteousness, but that you were saved because Jesus Christ died on the cross for you and rose again and because you were blessed, fortunate indeed, to believe. If you concentrate on that simple fact, you will never depart from being a Believer, and not only that you will find it much more easy to convert others into becoming a Believer, because you will concentrate on getting them to BELIEVE and not to merely behave. This is why Paul was such an excellent witness for this message. Paul had been a Pharisee, a Jew among Jews, a strict studier and practitioner of Jewish religion, tradition, and customs, an extremist. But when Paul encountered Jesus Christ on the road to
Damascus, he saw that his lifelong absolute dedication to religion was for naught. Christ was the way, and since he previously had rejected Christ, his entire existence had been a waste; a mockery; an abomination … he was not first in righteousness but last! He had to give up everything that he had been and reject all that he had believed in order to follow Christ; he had to start all over! So, who else better to tell someone that they are not saved by their behavior and not redeemed by works than someone who had spent their entire life pursuing nothing but religion only to find out that it was all meaningless, having nothing to do with salvation? And that is why so much of the New Testament is either by Paul or concerning him: Paul was the best messenger that Christianity is not a works religion! Indeed, Christianity is no religion at all, for religion is of men. Christianity is mere faith, nothing more, nothing less, and if you do not have it and do not know what you have it in, then you are just wasting your time, and in the name of Jesus Christ I urgently entreat you to stop playing games with your eternal soul and truly accept Christ!
 

Prayer:

Father God in the Name of Your Son Jesus Christ, may your Believers focus on salvation, both for themselves and for others. May they cease striving and contending with lies and false pursuits and instead seek the truth that is in You and is You! Father God, may Your Believers know that there are things that are pleasing to You and good things for them to receive from You, but that all things must come in their due season. May Your Believers know that now is the time for salvation, faith, and charity, and right now is when those things must be preached to the lost and lived by the found. In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

Deliverance:

The demons that work in this area are faithlessness, legalism, and false doctrines. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to go against these demons to help set captives free and win battles in the name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by his Son Jesus Christ and by his blood shed for you!

http://www.healtheland.bravehost.com/Archives/Devos/Circumcision_53.htm

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