Unlimited: The True Jew and True Circumcision
Aug 18, 2022 236
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 (Rom. 2:29a.)
In the previous verse, Paul has just redefined who is a true Jew. It is not one being Jewish according to ancestry and genetics, but instead one who is spiritually attuned to God’s heart.
Paul is also redefining circumcision. True circumcision is not the circumcision of the external body but the inner mark of the Spirit of God in the life. This true circumcision is the work of the Spirit and not according to the written law.
The implications of this are very significant. Paul is referring to the core meaning of circumcision. A little later, Paul will refer to circumcision as,
a sign… of… righteousness… by faith
and of righteousness that is credited to those who believe (Rom. 4:11.)
True circumcision is not the circumcision of the external body but the inner mark of the Spirit of God in the life.
This is striking because Paul explains that circumcision, one of the key signs that the Jewish people saw to be core to their religious identity, was, in fact, a sign of righteousness through faith available to all. The very thing in which the Jewish people took the greatest pride as the sign of their religious exclusivity was, in fact, a symbol of the grace that had come to everyone who believed in Jesus.
One of the lessons from the reality that true circumcision is that of the heart is that you can’t always tell who belongs to God and who doesn’t. Someone once said, “God has many that the church has not, and the church has many that God has not.
How judgmental are you of others?