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“No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God.”

Romans 2:29

Some Christians worship in beautiful, ornate buildings constructed with the intent of honoring God. Other Christians worship God under a tree on the edge of their village. Will one receive greater praise from God than the other?
The external aspects of worship can be valuable as regular reminders of truths we know. On the other hand, liturgy can become like outward circumcision — merely a show. A Jew who is circumcised but does not have a heart of faith is not a Jew. But a Gentile who has a heart of faith and trusts in Jesus Christ is the true Jew.
Over the centuries Christians have argued over proper modes of worship and correct ways to praise God. But what is clear to us from Paul’s words is that God is looking for a humble heart of faith which trusts above all in the work of Christ.
Then our affirmation comes from God Himself, not because of any outward thing we have done. Let your heart be that which is circumcised and set apart for Him. How amazing that we would receive praise from the God of the heavens!




Scripture Focus

Romans 2:17-29

Insight

Praise from God comes to those who trust not in their religious actions, but who trust in the living God alone.

Bible In A Year

  • Deuteronomy 30-31
  • Psalm 94
  • Acts 18