The Jews are Jews not because, out of thin air, they decided to create a religion with one God and be different by circumcision. No! God’s word makes it obvious that they are chosen: recognized by blood, by tradition, and by the Law.
The Jews are different because they are messengers of the truth. Physically, they are marked as a people of God, the only True God. They have a generational connection to the promised son of Abraham down to the promised Son of God, Jesus.
God became flesh and dwelt among us as a Jew—He was a circumcised Jew.
But Paul reminds us that there’s more to belonging to God than blood in the veins, law in the hand, and circumcision of the body. Salvation is not exclusive to the Jews.
The Difference is in the Heart
It is a matter of the heart—the circumcised heart:
For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.
By the Holy Spirit, not the letter of the Law, the heart is circumcised. The Lord, our God, is in the heart business. The fleshly uncircumcised heart does not know God. The circumcised heart is the heart of the New Covenant—a heart cut off from the flesh and set aside to beat in rhythm to God’s own heart.
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and will all your soul and with all your might.
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
But, O LORD of host who judges righteously, who tests the heart and the mind…
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleanness, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes and be careful to obey My rules.
God knows the heart intimately. Do we obey God because we know His Word, or because we know God? Are we right in His eyes because of the letter of the law or not?
The authentic Christian is chosen, called, and believes God for salvation and continues in a reconciled relationship with Him. The Holy Spirit dwells in the new heart. God teaches knowledge, wisdom, and understanding through Sacred Scripture. The Holy Spirit of God is the Spirit of truth. He knows us by heart, and we know Him by name.
And those who know Your name put their trust in You, for You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.
The heart spoken here refers to our personality, intellect, emotions, and moral. It is our innermost character, feelings, and our inclinations. The heart is the essential and most vital part of our being.
We have a heartfelt love relationship with Father God in Christ Jesus.
The LORD has placed a new heart in us—we are new creations. The Holy Spirit dwells in such a heart. We walk in the Spirit and live to do what is right in His eyes. He who judges the soul knows us by name—He knows us by heart!
Check your heart. Is it beating? It is beating in rhythm with the Holy?
“The first and the great work of a Christian is about his heart. Do not be content with seeming to do good in “outward acts” while your heart is bad, and you are a stranger to the greater internal heart duties.”
Christine Malkemes is a recognized teaching Pastor with the assemblies of God. Not so much a preacher – a sage on the stage – but a teacher, a guide by your side. Her degree in knowledge of the unchangeable character of God and His undying word is impressive because she’s spent 50 years learning at the feet of the Master.
Christine Malkemes, https://christinemalkemes.com/. Founder of Words Whispered. Used with permission.