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.