THE TRUE CIRCUMCISION

Scripture Reading: Philippians 3:1-6

“For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh.” (Phililppians 3:3)

This verse gives us a picture of what true faith produces in our lives. Paul is speaking to Gentiles. Yet, he says, “it is we who are the circumcision.” He is referring to the spiritual circumcision that the Holy Spirit produces when He makes us children of God — “In Him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ” (Colossians 2:11).

Once we have received our new nature as children of God, we delight in worshiping Him by His Spirit. Worship is our response to the amazing grace and unconditional love of Christ. The Spirit prompts us to worship. He opens our eyes to the glorious riches we have in Christ and we find great delight in worshiping Him.

We also glory in Christ Jesus. We begin to grasp the beauty of our Savior and we find great joy in Him. We consider all He has done for us and we stand in awe of Him. We boast in Him and not in ourselves — “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord” (I Corinthians 1:31).

When we worship God by the Spirit and when we glory in Christ Jesus, we will put no confidence in the flesh. There is no place for self-righteousness is our lives. We see ourselves as we truly are — needy and unworthy sinners.

Paul had to come to the place of deep brokenness. For most of his life, he had put confidence in his flesh. He was proud of his heritage and of his religious zeal — “circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legal righteousness, faultless” (vs. 5,6).

We all struggle with self-righteousness, with putting too much confidence in our own flesh. But when we grasp the message of the gospel, we will humble ourselves, turn to Christ, glory in Him and worship Him by the Spirit. It is then that we learn that we cannot put confidence in the flesh.

Lord Jesus, forgive me for the many times I put confidence in my flesh. Forgive me when I become self-righteous and proud. Let me boast only in You. You are my glorious Savior and Lord. I worship You today in the Spirit and glory only in You.

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