A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.
This week we press into Romans, Paul’s longest and most detailed writing about his understanding of the fledgling Christian faith taught by Jesus. The book was written around 57 or 58 AD and Paul seeks to reconcile the differences between two competing sects of Christian thought that had emerged in Rome. One had gone back to the comfortable teachings of the Torah with a minor emphasis on the transformation Jesus brought. The other taught how Jesus had transformed and perfected Jewish tradition and ritual into the new traditions and rituals which were the new conduit for growing the faith into the future.
What draws me to this passage is the new requirement of a circumcised heart and the issues this idea caused. To the Jewish Christians faith NEEDED a physical representation and they went right back to the old ways when they didn’t have active direction. To the new converts, this was a welcome change. No knives required at your Baptism! But what is a circumcised heart? I envision my heart with chunks removed where things that keep me from a deeper faith used to be. As I am not perfect, the incisions range from surgically precise and hastily hole-punched based on my current struggles and as this heart is spiritual, those holes can be filled with either God or my previous desires. Every day I wrestle, urged on by the Spirit, excising things that come between me and God, knowing that he delights in my struggles and that He wants me to succeed and see His face.
Daily Battle Order:
How circumcised is your heart? What do you go back to when you are away from Jesus for too long? Today, pray and allow God to show you what might be in the way of you going deeper into faith and the wisdom to replace those things with Him.
The theme for this year on the Battlefield with TJC is Deep Change. Come join TJC and learn more about how deeply Christ can change your heart.