Posted by: Kimberly | Sat Aug 13, 2011

Circumcision of the Heart

One of the definitions of circumcision in the dictionary is a spiritual purification. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is akin to circumcision of the heart! In the Greek, the word originates from peritome and means to be set apart from the sinful masses and Truly devoted to God.

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) No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by God’s Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people. Romans 2:29 (NLT)

Then what’s the advantage of being a Jew? Is there any value in the ceremony of circumcision? Yes, there are great benefits! First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the whole revelation of God. Romans 3:1&2

 And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. 1 Corinthians 2:12

By allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts, we are grafted into the Jewish birthright through the Holy Spirit and receive the revelations of God. To be truly devoted to God, we must follow him with our whole heart and not keep back certain parts.  To be able to discern the scriptures and gain understanding requires forgiveness. Not only must we forgive others, we must forgive ourselves. God has already forgiven us by sending his son. When our hearts are not pliable, we don’t allow the Holy Spirit in to work through us. We lead others away from the gospel instead of to the open heart and arms of our wonderful and loving Heavenly Father.

But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong. When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile Christians, who were not circumcised. But afterward, when some friends of James came, Peter wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision. As a result, other Jewish Christians followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. Galatians 2:11-13

Peter’s problem was not in eating with the Gentiles but later refusing to socialize with them. He was trying to make them follow the law and not rely on their faith in Jesus Christ. It is only by faith and believing in Jesus Christ that we Are made right with God. When we shun people based on their stature in life, the way they look, their lack in any area, we become a stumbling block to others. No wonder so many run from the gospel! Why would they want to associate with hypocrites (people who pretend)?

Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you. I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses. Galatians 5:2&3

We cannot rely on a ceremonial act to make us ‘right’ with God. We cannot live a just life by our own practice, we must allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in everything we do. What area of our lives are we not allowing God to work in? What ‘law’ or act is our stumbling block to others? What religious rite are we performing to gain holiness? Unless the Holy Spirit is working in our lives, we are just make-believe Christians.

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Galatians 5:16 & 25

Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called “uncircumcised heathens” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. Ephesians 2:11

Are we uncircumcised heathens who cannot get into the kingdom? Are we the non-believing Jews who only put on an outward show of following God and didn’t have a heart for Him?

When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature. Colossians 2:11

But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ. 1 John 2:27

God sent us the Holy Spirit to allow us to love others and to discern truth. It is through our pliable heart that we hear his voice and see with his eyes.

And he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us. 2 Corinthians 1:22

Prayer: Father help me to keep my heart submissive to the Holy Spirit working in me to hear your voice and see with your eyes. Help me to share your love which has no classifications or categories to do Your perfect will. Help me be able to pour out Your love and peace on others. In the name of Jesus Christ my Lord, Amen.

Credits: mbaum heart with mouth


Responses

  1. Awesome reminder of the Lord’s love for us, Kimberly. Where would we be without the Holy Ghost (I am a KJ reader) !! Thanx so much for sharing this important truth.

    Off topic … less than a week to Wedding Bliss!

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  2. Thank you Diane. I grew up on the KJ but I started reading the New Living Translation this year with a new Bible without any markings in it. I have felt lead to have all things new, new notes, new underlinings and new beginnings in my walk with God. No looking at old notes, a new manifestation of enlightenment for me on the Word of God.

    Speaking of new beginnings… Yes, Five days ’til Wedding Bliss! ; )

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    • I appreciate “new beginnings” and not relying on old notes, etc. I buy new KJV’s b/c it is the only translation in which I can memorize Scripture. Sounds strange when I put it in writing — then again, how boring would it be if we were all the same, eh?

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      • I agree, it is through our uniqueness that we fit together to make the wonderful body of the church; complimenting each other in our different thoughts and different abilities.

        I still remember many verses in the KJ because I started learning verses as a young child and they have stuck in my mind.

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  3. Powerful Kimberly, thank you!! The love of God shown to others. May He circumcise our hearts with the Holy Spirit. A new heart filled with His Spirit and His promises. Hey, I guess you are married now! Congrats and pray God blesses your ministry!

    Tom

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    • Thank you Tom! Just got back from a week in the NC mountains touring waterfalls with my husband. Have a blessed day! My daughter, who lives on the coast, joined us in central NC to avoid the hurricane.

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