Circumcise your hearts now
No doubt about it—people like to make rules. Religious leaders are sometimes the worst offenders—all too often we love to make rules and make other people obey them. On top of that, Satan loves to convince people that the way to approval with God is by performance, by our doing things to work for God’s favor.
After the Savior was born, the special mark of circumcision on males of the covenant became unnecessary. Parents today can arrange for their newborn sons to be circumcised or not, but the procedure no longer has any religious significance in the New Covenant.
It took a while for Jewish Christians to stop mandating the practice. Paul warned them about imposing laws that God had abolished: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. . . . If you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all . . . for in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:1-6).
If you want to cut something, he told them, metaphorically cut your hearts, i.e., repent of your sins, claim Christ’s forgiveness, and dedicate yourself to living a new life of service to God and people.
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