Skip to main content

Philippians 3:3: For We Are The Circumcision

Philippians 3:3
[3] For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— (ESV)

If someone were to ask you to describe your Christianity in one word what would you choose?  Forgiven? Saved? Redeemed?  How about Circumcision? Paul here says that we are the circumcision. How does that make you feel? Before you go running out to tell all your friends that we are the circumcision we should probably talk about what it means.

Circumcision was commanded by God for all Jewish males on the eighth day as a means of setting apart that child to belong to the community of faith. Now that Jesus had fulfilled the Law and provided for forgiveness of all who placed faith in him there was no longer a need for circumcision of a physical nature.

The Judaizers who had caused confusion and harm at Philippi looked down their spiritual noses at the Christian Gentiles because they were not physically circumcised. Paul is making the point that true circumcision is a matter of the heart. We are spiritually set apart for God and show it by a changed heart and pure living. The Jews claimed to be circumcised, yet their actions showed that their circumcision was invalid; their hearts had not been changed.

I love how Paul ends this verse. After making the point about what is done in the flesh, circumcision, he says that we, the true circumcision, put no confidence in the flesh. What he means is that we recognize it was the work done in Christ's body on the cross that provided for our forgiveness. Our works, or anything done by our flesh, are completely incapable to make us right with God.

If you belong to Jesus Christ, you are the circumcision. What a title! Do not fall for the trap of legalism. Worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth.


Popular posts from this blog

Romans 8:18: For I Consider That The Sufferings Of This Present Time Are Not Worth Comparing

Romans 8:18 [18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV) Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic. Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison. Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death,

Romans 11:24: For If You Were Cut From What Is By Nature A Wild Olive Tree, And Grafted, Contrary To Nature, Into A Cultivated Olive Tree . . .

Romans 11:24 [24] For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. (ESV) We continue looking at the illustration of an olive tree. The root of the tree is the covenant relationship relationship of God with Abraham. Abraham's faith is what this spiritual tree is built on. The first branches would have been the faithful people of Israel, who like Abraham, placed their faith in God. They believed God, just like Abraham, and it was credited to them as righteousness. There were branches of the people of Israel who never placed their faith in God. Because these branches were not true followers of God they were broken off of the tree. Faith in God was the essential element that made the branches true branches of this spiritual tree. Some branches remained. Others, the faithless unbelievers, were removed. After Jesu

Romans 15:20-21: And Thus I Make It My Ambition To Preach The Gospel, Not Where Christ Has Already Been Named

Romans 15:20–21 [20] and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, [21] but as it is written, “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.” (ESV) We need to be reminded continually that the message of the Gospel is intended to move all across the world. Jesus said that his followers were to preach the Gospel, starting in Jerusalem, and continue preaching the Gospel to the whole world. Christians have not always been good at delivering the Gospel message as far and as often as they should. In the first century church it took intense persecution to motivate the disciples in Jerusalem to bring the Gospel to Judea and Samaria. Once the disciples fled to new regions they shared the Gospel wherever they went. Would the disciples have preached the Gospel without the persecution? We may never know. Some probably would have stayed in their co