By Allen White
Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reasons for such confidence. Philippians 3:2-4 (NIV)
Traditions are hard to leave behind. There’s a certain comfort in depending on what is familiar. But what happens when those traditions get in the way of what God wants to do in our lives?
Circumcision presented a particular dilemma for the early church. God directed Abraham and his family to be circumcised as a sign of identification with God as His people (Genesis 17). Following Jesus’ death, however, identification with God’s Son superseded any outward sign. The Jewish believers weren’t willing to give that up. But, salvation comes by grace through faith, not from works. To require circumcision was to ask for more than God was asking.
Let’s make this personal. What are you depending on other than Jesus to have a right relationship with God? Is it looking a certain way or sounding religious? Are you more focused on serving than on the Son?
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