Journey through the Book of Romans
Paul declares what makes a True Jew or Christian
Romans 2:25-29 For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? 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? For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 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. NKJV
Paul had much to expound or explain concerning man’s outward show of his or her “religion.” Paul is constantly driving home to everyone who would listen, the reality of how the One True God examines every soul of man. Paul again having grown up a Jew knew what it was to make boast in the things done to one’s flesh on the outside that distinguished the Jew from all other races of people. Paul too was blinded by religion during his time as a Pharisee. Paul’s encounter with our Lord Jesus Christ on the Damascus road was not only the death of religion for him, but it was the day he was raised from being dead in his trespasses and sins even though he and all who knew him considered him to be one of the best Jews in all of Jerusalem and the surrounding cities. Paul once blinded by religious outward preparation, performance, and practice now had new life from Christ (Galatians 2:20) and he wanted so badly for his fellow Jewish brothers and sisters in the flesh to understand that their religious practices did not, could not, and would not make them right with God. Paul had just proven to them or attempted to prove to them by the questions asked in Romans 2:21-23 that they were just as guilty before God as being transgressors of His Laws as the Gentiles.
Therefore, their being circumcised outwardly in their flesh earned them nothing in God’s Sight unless they kept His Laws perfectly always. The fact that they transgressed God’s Laws made them equal to the Gentiles before God. This is exactly what our Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed, pronounced, and preached to them for over 3 years trying to get them to see that He was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob come down from heaven to open up entrance into the Kingdom of God for them by fulfilling the Righteous and Holy requirements of the Law of God for them because they could never do it (Matthew 5:17-20). Our Lord said in Matthew 5:20 “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” NKJV The Apostle Paul had surely heard this warning from our Lord before his conversion and ignored or dismissed it just as the many Jews he had spoken to through face to face encounter or by this letter or one of his other letters.
Paul knew the Jews were resting and relying on the outward reality or fact of them being descendants of Abraham as their assurance of right relationship with God because he did likewise before he encountered Christ. When our Lord commissioned the first disciples to go out and preach the Kingdom of God in His Name He said this to them, Matthew 10:5-6 “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” NKJV Many in the house of Israel were lost sheep without a Shepard except the lost sheep of the house did not know or recognize their condition as such. Many of the Jews (especially the religious rulers) boasted in everything externally that made them different from the Gentiles and this became their confidence and so blinded them from the reality of their true spiritual condition. It was not that God did not hold them (Jews) up in a different light to Himself than the other races of people because He did because of the covenant He made with Abraham (Exodus 4:22). Paul goes right into stating this reality in the beginning of Chapter 3 of Romans. Circumcision for many of the Jews was what made them different from the Gentiles they labeled as pagans. But mere outward circumcision in the sight of God did not make one a Jew without an internal desire to walk in all the commandments of God blameless as did Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth (Luke 1:6). God the Father knew what men and women were true Jews indeed walking in His commands blameless and were looking forward to the coming of the Messiah and His death on the cross for their sins.
Likewise the fact of being born in America a country established by men and women who believed in and trusted the One True God does not make everyone born in America a Christian. Neither if one is born into a Christian home or family that will not serve to make the children Christians. Also like the outward act of circumcision served to make many people call, count, or consider themselves to be Jews so do many people call, count, and consider themselves to be Christians solely because they were baptized as a child or an infant and both of these assumptions are dead wrong. The hearts desires circumcised by God’s Spirit to be obedient to Him is what made all of the true Jews from Abraham (Genesis 15:6) to King David (Acts 13:22) acceptable in His Sight.
A Christian is not someone who believes in God (James 2:19) but lives a life every day in opposition to what the Bible teaches about the Character and Nature of God. A true Christian is one whose heart/inner man (not the muscle that pumps blood) has been circumcised by God the Holy Spirit. The person’s desires have been transformed by God to love the things that He loves and to hate the things that He hates. No amount of fish signs on your car or crosses around your neck or Bibles in your home or baptism or any external thing can make a dead heart in trespasses and sins alive to God. God does not get all tingly with human beings doing outward performances or putting on shows for their fellow man, but He responds to broken and contrite spirits, poor in spirit sinners, those who mourn over their own personal sins desiring their sin removed.
God looks upon the heart/inner man and the motives for doing anything for Him or in His Name must come from a pure heart desiring to see His Glory manifested in the earth. Hypocrites are those who pretend to love the Lord Jesus Christ while their heart still clings, clasps, and cleaves to all manner of sin and evil continually. That person is not a true Christian. The true Christian his or her heart is circumcised from the love of sin longing inwardly to please God the Father at all times while acknowledging their failure every single day before Him. One cannot love Jesus Christ and continue in sin (Romans 6:1-2). God is the searcher of all hearts and not any human being. It is the desire of every true Christian to be found pleasing to Him and not to men. Therefore, it is foolish for any mere man to think he can fool Him (Jeremiah 17:10).
Deuteronomy 30:6 And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. NKJV
1 Corinthians 7:19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters. NKJV
2 Corinthians 10:18 For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends. NKJV
Galatians 6:12-15 As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. NKJV
Philippians 3:2-11 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. NKJV
Colossians 2:11-14 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. NKJV
“Repentance is as much a mark of a Christian, as faith is. A very little sin, as the world calls it, is a very great sin to a true Christian.” Charles Spurgeon
“A true Christian stands at as great distance from trusting in the best of his services as in the worst of his sins! He knows that the greatest part of his holiness will not make the least part of his justifying righteousness.” William Secker ?-1681
“The inward area is the first place of loss of true Christian life, of true spirituality, and the outward sinful act is the result.” Francis Schaeffer 1912-1984
“God requires the obedience of the heart and of the life. Where there is a disposition to render that, there is an advantage in possessing the external means of grace. Where that is missing, no rite or profession can save. This applies with as much force to those who have been baptized in infancy, and to those who have made a profession of religion in a Christian church, as to the Jew.” Albert Barnes
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reader, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
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