PUT NO CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH
WEDNESDAY 30 JUNE 2021
Every born again Christian is spiritually circumcised. In other words, in Christ Jesus, we are the true circumcision, and our circumcision is that which is made in the foreskin of our heart and in our spirit. Now this is entirely different from circumcision made with hands.
Reference: Philippians 3:2-3 New Living Translation (NLT) "Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved. For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort."
In His letter addressed to the Christians in Philippi, apostle Paul warned them to beware of dogs in their midst, especially the ones who emphasized on being circumcised to be saved. Why did Paul warn them by being specific about the term, "Circumcision"? And what was Paul's motive behind this warning? His ultimate goal was to strengthen their faith so they could focus on the upward call of God, instead of being distracted by those unserious Christians, especially the ones who still preached and functioned by the law of Moses, rather than the Gospel of the grace of God. He calls those believers dogs, evil doers and mutilators who violate the message of grace by introducing the law of natural circumcision as a criterion to be saved.
To further explain the mind of Paul in this context, the apostle is likened to a company advertising the quality of its product. In the process, the company is very conscious of properly educating and safeguarding its target audience to ensure they aren't deceived. This means that if the target audience have been saved by the product, which is "grace", they should not be filled with whispers, fallacies and fake news of another product, contained in "Mosaic law". Apostle Paul knew the importance of keeping His target audience in mind and making sure they understood His advertised product.
Beloved, it makes a big difference in how you share the Gospel and the very message you introduce while sharing it or speaking to others about it. In short, there has to be a proper description of your product (the saving grace) and a keen awareness of your target audience as you seek to reach them. This type of thinking must influence our evangelism efforts and also shape our mindset in safeguarding the flock or members in your church. Without a doubt, Jesus Christ is the primary source of both the introduction of the Kingdom of heaven and the very message of apostle Paul. However, the heart of the gospel is the good news of His grace that offers salvation and its benefits, apart from the law.
This is because the Bible says in Romans 3:21 (ESV), "But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it." In other words, no human being is justified in God's sight by works of the law, since through the law comes knowledge of sin, but now God has shown us a way to be made right with Him without keeping all the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago.
So therefore, is Paul saying that circumcision which is based on Mosaic law is a wrong practice? Not at all. Paul is only informing the Christians in Philippi that its wrong to accept the erroneous message that only the circumcised can be saved, or that in order to be saved, you must be circumcised in the flesh. So who are those really circumcised? According to Paul, they are those who worship by the Spirit of God. As Christians, we rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us and so we put no confidence in human effort or natural circumcision. In fact, this is the watchword for those who are the true spiritual circumcision: "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth" (John 4:24 NIV). This very Scripture works its way through our manner of worship, regardless of Christian denominations.
The desire to bring people to faith in Christ must be about this same manner of worship: "In Spirit and in truth." As a result, we put no confidence in human effort and flesh, which are the real hindrance to serving God in Spirit. This truth must shape our Christian faith and worship service such that even a new convert will grasp what true faith in Christ is all about. It should also work its way through our entire walk with God. For indeed, we boast and rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us and so, we put no confidence in flesh. Shalom!
Scripture Reading - Deuteronomy 10:16; Acts 7:51; Romans 2:29; 1 Peter 1:23-25.
Exuberant Declaration: The Word of God is the truth that endures forever and I live out what it says about me. Therefore, I testify that I am the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and put no confidence in the flesh. I'm positioned in Christ to preach the good tidings of grace in my world and to give delightful testimony to the living and supreme abiding revelation of God's will. Blessed be God!