For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.(Rom 2:28-29)
The person who has been accepted by God and is right with God, and therefore has a secure position with God is not one who has primarily dealt with exterior conformity to the law alone, but rather has been transformed inwardly in the inner man. This is not exclusively a New Testament concept. This idea of “circumcision of the heart” was spoken in Deuteronomy 30:6.
And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.(Deu 30:6)
God has never been content for people to just externally conform to a set of rules without any inner transformation of the heart. This is Paul’s argument.
External conformity to rules tends to make other men the audience, while inner transformation of the heart forcuses on the Lord. Don’t be confused. This does not mean that God has no opinion on the external. Of course God wants us to be obedient externally. His desire though is that their obedience is motivated by an inner transformation that God has done in the heart. This means that doing the right thing flows from a right relationship and worshipping of God on the inside, and not just an outward conformity to the rules borne of a motivation of duty to God or conformity to men.
- Have you had the inner transformation that happens when you accept Christ as Savior?
- Are there any “rules” you are keeping for the wrong reasons?
- Take some time to check your heart attitude today, and ask God to continue to work on you.