God is not found in the flesh

Galatians 6:12-13
12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.

When we write something important in English script we would highlight or emphasis the important words by using things like bold, italic or underline, but in other languages like in Hebrew it was not possible to do the same so in the book of Psalms the psalmists used the word Selah at the end of the sentence. We see this also being done in the book of Habakkuk.

In the New Testament Greek the writers who were strongly influenced with the Hebrew and Aramaic language used simple layman Greek (not classical Greek) to write the books. In this Greek the only way to emphasis any text was by positioning the verb in the right place and TVM (tense, voice, mood) in the sentence and that required great attention of the reader.

Paul handicapped with this problem wrote important parts of his letters in large script. And we read just above today's message he reminds the readers of this, thus showing the great importance of today's message.

Paul in today's message talks of people who force Believers to be circumcised in the flesh to be a Christian. Paul rebuked Peter at his face (before other people) with regards this matter. It showed how strongly Paul felt against this. Paul in today's scripture is not talking only of male circumcision (like the Jews did) but other types of circumcisions in the flesh.

The Lord requires us (male and female) to be circumcised and that circumcision is the circumcision of the heart alone. Circumcision of the heart means cutting off the desires of the carnal person in us. Circumcision does not mean complete cut off. In natural male circumcision only the small front part (foreskin) of the male reproduction is cut which is the part that is most sensitive to touch. Thus circumcision of heart does not mean completely giving up one's heart's desire for things of the world but means to desire things that are needed and not those for pleasure. It means to be sober in our desires and to know the difference between needs and wants.

There is also another part connected with religious circumcision, our worship of God or our walk of righteousness where circumcision needs to be discerned.

Some people force others to work their relationship with God. What I means by work is things like forcing / influencing people to prayer for long hours, to fast, to read the Bible, to do Church activities, do good works etc.. Let me explain one as an example.

One needs to understand prayer. Prayer is very essential for every Christian but that does not mean sitting alone with the Lord whole day and night. Prayer is communication with God and a Christian is expected to be in continuous communication with the Lord. But that does not mean that one need to sits all the time day and night exclusive with God. God does require us to spend some exclusive time with Him and through the sacrifice in the books of Moses God teaches us to how and how much. We need to spend about 15mins at least 3 times a day with Him on normal days, over weekends or like the day of Sabbath it is about 3hours and so on.. And we can see this in the prayer life of Daniel and Jesus. The same with other things like fasting and Bible study, these things are very important but needs to be done spiritually and not in the flesh.

We should remember as Christians we are commissioned to a mission, these things strengthen us in our mission or make our mission easy, but if we concentrate only on these and do not do the mission (saving souls, bringing the lost sheep back to the Master and strengthening each other in Christ) then our mission fails and so do our being Christians (witnesses to Christ).

Jesus said one day (in the future) people will worship God in spirit and in truth like it was with Him and His disciples. It is nearly 2000years since Jesus said that and sufficient time has passed for us to learn and understand it. It is time we change and fulfil the prophecy and be the people who worship God in spirit and in truth and not in the flesh - natural, carnal or religious.

[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, we pray your people do not go the way of the Jews or the Catholics. That they do not seek You through rituals or traditions or teachings of men. That they understand the Word and seek You in Spirit and Truth. Lord, we pray your people be truly circumcised in their hearts and not be taken by the desires of the world. That they live a sober life in the world and a life of abundance in the Spirit...

This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.

[ Reference ]
Psalms 81:7 - Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah.

Psalms 82:2 - How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.

Habakkuk 3:13 - Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah.

Galatians 6:11-16
11 Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.
12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.
14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. {by whom: or, whereby?}
15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

2 Corinthians 5:13 For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.

1 Thessalonians 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

1 Thessalonians 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

Titus 2:6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.

1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Galatians 2:11-16
11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Romans 2:28-29
28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
29 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.

John 4:23 - But the hour cometh [will come], and now is [as it was in the time of Jesus and the Apostles], when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

The Word of God was given free to us, therefore we should also share it freely with others.
(All rights are with God)