“For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if though be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision” (Romans 2:25).
I’ve moved on to reading the Book of Romans, and this verse really stuck out to me. Here, Paul is speaking to the Jews in Rome, who glory in their flesh, feeling more worthy and justified because they are circumcised. But Paul is telling them that their circumcision counts for nothing, if they are not keeping the whole law… That they might as well be uncircumcised.
Why? Because God looks at the heart, whether it is circumcised or not, and not the flesh. The outward circumcision is merely religion, while the inward circumcision is spirituality. For God is Spirit, and He desires for His true worshippers to worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). While the former may fulfil the letter of the law (if that were possible), the latter is led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14, Galatians 5:16) and is dependent on the Spirit and CANNOT glory in themselves, for they know that apart from grace, they would be nothing (Phil 2:13).
Jesus tells us that unless we abide in Him, we can bear no fruit (John 15:4-5). We can produce no righteousness. Whatever good works we do in our might will fall short of His glory, and CANNOT qualify or justify us before Him. We must not only come to Him to be saved…we must also abide in Him to do His will, to bear fruit, to endure all things and be saved finally (Matthew 24:13).
We have ONE law we are called to in the New Covenant, and that is the law of Love (John 13:34-35, Romans 13:8). If we apply Paul’s message to the Jews to Christians today, it might read:
“For FAITH verily profiteth, if thou keep the law of LOVE: but if though be a breaker of the law, thy FAITH is made UNBELIEF“.
Can you see the connection there? We can even carry on into the following verse to better understand this principle, which James also addressed in his letter saying “faith without works is dead” (James 2:14-26).
“Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?” (Romans 2:26).
“Therefore if the UNBELIEVER keep the righteousness of the law [LOVE], shall not his UNBELIEF be counted for FAITH?“
This also ties in with what John wrote about God being Love, and anyone who loves being born of God (1 John 4:7-8). It is a hard saying to understand for the religious who think there is a formula for salvation, and a visible evidence that one is among the SAVED, apart from their submission to Jesus and His law of Love.
So like the Jews, many Christians today glory in their religion and justify themselves, while acting contrary to the Spirit, thinking that the law of Love is too burdensome to bear (Matthew 11:30). They have been baptised with water. They speak in tongues. They attend Church faithfully. They give their tithes. They pray and read their Bible daily. They tell others to receive Jesus into their hearts and to follow their religious practices to be saved.
However, if anyone does not abide in Jesus, they cannot fulfil His ONE law of Love. They cannot be as gracious as He is (Matthew 5:48). They cannot be long-suffering (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). They can not exercise self-control (James 1:26). And they cannot bear fruit that will last… (John 15:16) And their religion is worthless. Like Jesus said to the Pharisees:
“You should have practiced the latter, without leaving the former undone” (Matthew 23:23).
So we each need to examine ourselves to see if the Spirit of God truly dwells in us…if our hearts are truly circumcised…and if we are daily reliant on His grace and empowerment to do His works and be saved at last (2 Corinthians 13:5). Or if we are in fact reprobates, who adhere to a form of righteousness that is not righteousness at all (2 Tim 3:1-5). May God give us all the grace to abide, to endure and to bear His fruit. Amen.
“For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20).
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