God’s Grace and peace to you on this 27th day of June in the Year of our lord 2023. I wanted to share something that the Lord showed me during my scripture reading yesterday. I have read these verses before, but they really jumped out at me yesterday, illmunated by the Holy spirit.
There seems to be a common misconception in this world that Christians are perfect (ar at least Christians THINK they are perfect). 🤔This causes people to think that the only way THEY can become a Christian is to first clean up their act and be “perfect“. Both of these ideas are incorrect and unbiblical and are often a stumbling block that keeps people from getting saved.
The truly born-again MATURE Christian KNOWS they anything BUT perfect. They UNDERSTAND that NOTHING good dwells in their flesh and that if they were to stand before our Holy, Perfect, Glorious God clothed in their own righteousness, they would shrivel up and die. The born-again, MATURE Christian KNOWS he/she can never get himself clean enough and that WE ALL NEED the GRACE of JESUS CHRIST.
What is Grace? Grace is God’s UNMERITED favor. Grace is a GIFT from God, not something we can earn.
Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892), the “prince of Preachers” puts Christian maturity this way…
Look at the corn in the field, it holds its head erect while it is green, but when the ear is filled and matured, it hangs its head in graceful humbleness. Look at your fruit trees, how their blossoming branches shoot up towards the sky, but when they begin to be loaded with fruit, since the riper the fruit the greater its weight, the branch begins to bow, until it needs oftentimes to be propped up and to be supported, lest it break away from the stem. Weight comes with maturity, lowliness of mind is the inevitable consequence.
Growing Christians think themselves nothing. Full-grown Christians know that they are less than nothing. The nearer we are to Heaven in point of sanctification, the more we mourn our infirmities, and the humbler is our estimate of ourselves. Lightly laden vessels float high in the water, heavy cargo sinks the boat to the water’s edge. The more Grace, the more the need of Grace is felt. He may boast of his Grace who has none. He may talk much of his Grace who has little, but he who is rich in Grace cries out for more, and forgets that which is behind.
When a man’s inward life flows like a river, he thinks only of the Source, and cries before his God, ‘All my fresh springs are in You.’ He who abounds in holiness feels more than ever that in him, that is in his flesh, there dwells no good thing. You are not ripened, my Brothers and Sisters, while you have a high esteem of yourself. He who glories in himself is but a babe in Christ, if indeed he is in Christ at all. When you shall see death written on the creature, and see all your life in Christ. When you shall perceive even your holy things to have iniquity in them, and see all your perfectness in Him who is altogether lovely. When you shall lie prostrate at the foot of the Throne, and only rise to sit and reign in Him who is your All, then are you ripening, but not till then.”– Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), Ripe Fruit, Sermon No. 945, August 14, 1870
Here is the Scripture (Romans 4) that Holy Spirit highlighted to me yesterday that really illustrates this point. The scripture below is from the New Testament; however, it refers us back to the story of Abraham, something very ancient that happened in the Old Testament (Torah/Tanakh).
Romans 4: What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about; but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.
Genesis 15:6: Then he (Abram/Abraham) believed in the Lord; and He (God) credited it to him (Abraham) as righteousness
Abraham is considered to be a man of great faith. All three “Abrahamic religions” (Christians/Muslims/Jews) claim Abraham as one of their founding fathers or Patriarchs. However, we discover in the Bible that the story of Abraham is one of Faith and Grace – Clearly CHRISTIAN teachings.
6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?
7 Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” 9 So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
A little background on where Abraham came from…..
Abraham grew up a pagan, living in the city of Ur of the Chaldeans in ancient Mesopotamia. Abraham’s father Terah was pagan and had many idols. This city would have been considered “civilized” and “modern” to the pagan world. Pagans are typically polytheistic, meaning they worship many “gods”. Because we know that there is only One True God who exists as Father/Son/Holy Spirit, pagans are actually worshipping fallen angels and demons.😈
Pagans have NO RELATIONSHIP with the One True God (Father/Son/Holy Spirit). Where did Paganism come from?
Paganism seems to have originated shortly after the GLOBAL flood that occurred in the DAYS OF NOAH.
After THE GLOBAL FLOOD (Days of Noah), God gave humanity another chance to walk in His ways. But mankind had not changed for the better and once again rebelled against God and followed after other “gods” (idols/fallen angels/demons).
The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9) incident seems to be the culmination of paganism in the ancient world. The ancient GIANT Nimrod, 😈a descendant of Noah’s son Ham from the cursed line of Canaan, is the one who initiated the building of cities and ziggurats. In the Tower of Babel incident, mankind (along with the fallen angels and demons/aka “gods”) decided to build this great tower (artificial “mountain”/ziggurat) that could reach into the Heavens.
Note: I believe that Nimrod was a “type” of the antichrist, having the spirit of antichrist. His goal was to “unite the world” without YHWH (the true God via his tower of Babel). A few years ago, I received a Rhema Word from the Holy Spirit saying….”Nimrod will come into the Temple saying that he is God”! This really surprised me because this sounded a lot like 2 Thessalonians 2:4, which is a verse about the antichrist. The Rhema Word I heard connected the modern antichrist with the ancient villain Nimrod. 😱
It is thought that Nimrod and those who followed him believed this tower would be tall enough for them to thwart THE TRUE TRIUNE GOD (FATHER YHWH/SON JESUS CHRIST/HOLY SPIRIT) should He decide to send another global flood to destroy their wickedness. They were wrong then…and they are wrong now.
God stopped the building project (tower of babel) and scatted the people across the face of the earth.
Genesis 11:7: Come, let us go down and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 9 Therefore it was called Babel, because there the LORD confused (balal) the language of all the earth, and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.
God scattered the people and divorced the nations because of their flagrant idolatry; however, God had a plan to create a new nation (ISRAEL), one that He would call His own. It is through this new nation (Israel), that God planned to eventually draw ALL the other nations of the earth back into relationship with HIM, the One True God. This work would not be done “on our own”…but through ABRAHAM’S DESCENDANT, who is God’s (YHWH’S) own SON – the MESSIAH JESUS of NAZARETH✝️.
Psalm 2:7: I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son (Jesus); this day have I begotten thee.
Isaiah 56:7: Even them I will bring to My holy mountain,
And make them joyful in My house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices
Will be accepted on My altar;
For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
God was going to call Abraham, a man who had been raised by a pagan father in a pagan world, to begin the work of calling all nations back to HIMSELF. Why did God (YHWH) choose Abraham?
The bible does not explicitly say WHY God chose Abraham. Bible scholars believe that there was no merit on Abraham’s part for being chosen by God, but simply it was God’s sovereign Will to do so. My thought is that God KNEW something about Abraham’s HEART 💖that made him the perfect choice. God’s Will was to once again reveal Himself to fallen humanity and to show them the path to coming BACK into a relationship with HIM. He would do this through Abraham — later through Israel — and finally through the MESSIAH JESUS CHRIST (YAHSHUA HAMASHIACH), our KINSMAN REDEEMER.
Genesis 28:14 Your (Abraham) offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in your seed (descendant) shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
Indeed, through Abraham’s SEED (DESCENDANT – JESUS CHRIST ) all the nations of the world would be RICHLY BLESSED!!!✝️
Romans 4:7: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven,
And whose sins have been covered.
8 Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.”
Abraham was CALLED by God when he was still an uncircumcised pagan
As we progress through Romans 4, the discussion goes to circumcision. Now, we understand what circumcision of the flesh is about. Physically speaking, circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin from the male genitalia. Circumcision became the sign that the Jews were in Covenant with the One True God the Father- YHWH. (Genesis 17:10). Jewish people today still adhere to this Covenant sign and according to Torah (Scripture), they perform this ceremony (B’rit milah) 8 days after a male child is born.
Circumcision is extremely important to the Jewish religion; however, Abraham’s faith or BELIEF in God’s promises began BEFORE he was circumcised, BEFORE the law was introduced through Moses (Genesis 17:) This is a VERY important point to note. Abraham BELIEVED GOD while he was STILL an UNCIRCUMCISED PAGAN…and THAT FAITH was credited to him as righteousness (put him in right standing with God). THAT FAITH THEN led him to eventually become circumcised.
Romans 4: 9: Is this blessing (forgiveness) then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, “Faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.” 10 How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised.
- Abraham BELIEVED God (YHWH) while still an uncircumcised pagan
- This newly acquired faith/belief in the One True God (YHWH) was credited to him as RIGHTEOUSNESS (Right standing before God)
- Abraham’s FAITH in the One True God led him to dump idolatry and eventually get circumcised.
The Spiritual circumcision of the heart
What does circumcision REALLY represent? The physical circumcision of the Jewish man is a “type” or “shadow” of a much more important circumcision…the one that is REALLY important to God – the Circumcision of the heart. 💖 The cutting away of the physical foreskin of the male SYMBOLIZES the cutting away of the spiritual covering of the heart. It represents cutting away of idolatry, hatred, lies, selfishness, greed, sexual sins…...leaving only a pure heart – LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL. This is true repentance that comes with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. 💖🕊️
What we notice first of all in Romans 4 is that Abraham’s FAITH and BELIEF in God’s promises happened before he was circumcised. While Abraham was still a sinner, he BELIEVED GOD (YHWH) and it was CREDITED to him as RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Romans 5:8: But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
The MOMENT a person REALLY BELIEVES that Jesus Christ IS the promised Messiah, the Son of the Living God who takes away the sin of the world and RECEIVES those promises for him/herself…He/she is SAVED! ✝️ Through FAITH IN CHRIST, the believer is instantly JUSTIFIED (declared righteous) before our Holy God. Although the new believer finally recognizes their own sinful condition and need for a SAVIOR, they still have an UNCIRCUMCISED HEART. At the point of conversion, Holy Spirit will BEGIN the work of circumcising the new believer’s heart. However, they have already been declared RIGHTEOUS before God because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Their ETERNAL SALVATION is SECURE!
Romans 4:11: and he (Abraham)_received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them,
This is SUPER GOOD NEWS! This should make us ALL EXCITED!!! People do NOT have to “clean up their act” before they can get saved. People can get saved RIGHT NOW!!!
Abraham BELIEVED God, and it was credited to him as righteousness BEFORE he was circumcised. HALLELUJAH!
However, circumcision DID COME LATER!
Abraham DID eventually get circumcised. He WAS obedient to the calling of God. Abraham’s Circumcision of the flesh was the PHYSICAL SIGN that showed he was in Covenant with YHWH. The Jewish person’s circumcision of the flesh is the PHYSICAL SIGN that they are in the MOSAIC COVENANT with YHWH. But…the Mosaic Covenant is obsolete and is PASSING AWAY! (Hebrews 8:13). Eventually all of God’s people are being drawn to the NEW COVENANT.
Deuteronomy 10:16: Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart💕, and be stiff-necked no longer.
Jeremiah 31:31: Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
Jeremiah 31:33: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Luke 22:20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new Covenant in My (JESUS CHRIST) blood, which is shed for you.
Most importantly, a circumcised heart is the SIGN THAT A Christian is in the NEW COVENANT 💖 with YHWH/JESUS CHRIST/HOLY SPIRIT and has been born again into the family of God.
What is a Covenant? 🤔
The term “covenant” is of Latin origin (con venire), meaning a coming together. It presupposes two or more parties who come together to make a contract, agreeing on promises, stipulations, privileges, and responsibilities. Biblical Covenants are not exactly contracts in the way we think of contracts today, though there is some similarity. A Biblical covenant is essentially a relationship. There are MAJOR blessings that come if the relationship is kept, and there are penalties that come if the relationship is broken, and a covenant is simply the terms of that relationship.
YHWH/JESUS CHRIST is a Covenant God and God is ALWAYS faithful to His Covenants!
The New Covenant is MUCH better than the Mosaic Covenant because it comes with BETTER PROMISES!
- Promises of permanent forgiveness of all sin through the shed blood of GOD HIMSELF – Jesus Christ ✝️
- Jesus Christ (God the Son) as permanent HIGH PRIEST FOREVER making intercession for us before YHWH (God the Father)
- The permanent indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit. 🕊️
- Having the position as an adopted SON OR DAUGHTER OF GOD (YHWH)
- Having the Righteousness of Christ,
- Fellowship/friendship with God and all that entails including God the Father (YHWH) hearing our prayers, divine angelic protection, provision, healing, peace, and much more.
- No demonic weapon formed against us will succeed.
- Salvation and Everlasting Life that includes the promise of IMMORTALITY, divine health, everlasting youth/energy, peace, joy, all sorrow and tears wiped away.
After Abraham was justified (made righteous before the One True Triune God) by his FAITH and BELIEF, he agreed to be circumcised as a sign or seal of the Covenant that he had entered into with YHWH. Who circumcised Abraham? The Bible does not say, but I seriously doubt he did it to himself. It is possible that his wife Sarah circumcised him. Babies certainly do not circumcise themselves. Someone other than the one being circumcised performs the circumcision.
who is it that circumcises our hearts? Do we circumcise our own hearts? No. God (YHWH/JESUS CHRIST), through the indwelling power of God the Holy Spirit 🕊️circumcises the believer’s heart. Just like a baby cannot physically circumcise himself, we cannot circumcise our own heart. God does it for us! We need only to keep our FAITH in CHRIST and YIELD OURSELVES to the teaching and direction of God’s Word and His Holy Spirit as God circumcises our heart.
Like Abraham AGREED to having his flesh circumcised…believers in Jesus Christ need to AGREE to allow Holy Spirit to circumcise our hearts.
Jude 1:24: Now to Him (God/Jesus Christ) who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
25 To God our Savior (JESUS CHRIST),
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.
Ephesians 5:26: That He (YHWH /Jesus Christ/Holy Spirit) might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Philippians 1:6: For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work among you will complete it by the day of Christ Jesus.
What does a circumcised heart LOOK LIKE?
Revelation 19:7: Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride (tfj: Body of Christ/Church) has made herself ready. (tfj: Has a circumcised heart)
- A circumcised heart loves, reveres, and CHERISHES God and WANTS to PLEASE HIM.
- A circumcised heart is kind, loving, and treats others as more important than themselves
- A circumcised heart is one that mourns their own sin and hates sin in general.
- A circumcised heart is one that REPENTS of sin and is constantly seeking forgiveness and grace while extending forgiveness and grace to others. It strives NOT to sin, but also recognizes that while we are in this fallen flesh, we WILL sin.
- It is one that constantly seeks God’s Will and NOT their own, seeking to understand God and His Word better and better each day.
- A circumcised heart walks by FAITH and not by SIGHT, trusting more in God’s Word then in their own FEELINGS/EMOTIONS.
- A circumcised heart will DESIRE to walk INCREASINGLY in the fruits of the spirit. 🍇🍉🍊You will know a circumcised heart by their LOVE…of God first, and then of neighbor as an overflow from their love of God.
Philippians 2:13: Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Salvation and RIGHTEOUSNESS comes through SIMPLE BELIEF in JESUS CHRIST and FAITH in His Promises, even while uncircumcised (before our hearts are changed).
But…circumcision of the heart IS the SIGN that a person IS saved! True Faith and belief eventually result in a circumcised heart and a circumcised heart will be evident in a changed life. 💕
Romans 4:11: and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them
Once we enter into the New Covenant, our responsibility will be to put OUR FAITH and TRUST in JESUS CHRIST ✝️and allow Holy Spirit 🕊️to circumcise our heart! 💖. Through God’s Word, Holy Spirit will teach us the difference between the profane and the sacred. He will teach us how to LOVE the Lord God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and how to love our neighbor as ourselves. This is the process of sanctification that is ongoing in a believer’s life. This process, as we YIELD to it, will result in a circumcised heart and a changed life. 💕💕 And – here’s some more good news – Holy Spirit will give the believer STRENGTH to turn from the sin that has entangled them!
If, however, we say we believe…but then refuse to yield to the teaching and guidance of the Holy Spirit as He illuminates God’s Word (Bible) and how to apply it to our lives, then our hearts will not be circumcised, and our lives will not be changed. For those who say they believe, but then consistently refuse God’s guidance and wisdom, they likely never really believed at all….which means that they are likely not born again and are not saved. These are “pretend believers”.
Remember, NO RELIGION can save us. Church cannot save us. Our believing parents cannot save us. Trying to “be a good person” without FAITH in Christ cannot save us. Only True belief and FAITH in Jesus Christ and HIS SHED BLOOD can save us! Save us from what? From an eternity in hell/outer darkness! 😱 The wages of sin is death – eternal death💀 and separation from God (YHWH) and ALL PEOPLE have sinned and fallen short of the GLORY OF GOD. But the FREE GIFT🎁 of GOD is ETERNAL LIFE! ✝️💕 What “religion” can offer Eternal Security? None. Only Jesus Christ can offer us Eternal Security. Our pitiful works do not “add” to Christ’s salvation and are not necessary to “maintain” salvation. This means we as believers do not have to be apprehensive about where we will go when we die. When we put our faith in Jesus Christ and the CROSS✝️our Eternity in Heaven is secure…FOREVER.
What is faith?
Faith is confidence, belief, or TRUST in something, particularly that which we cannot see. WE all put our faith in SOMETHING. Some people put their faith in vaccines. Some put their faith in the news (media)…trusting that the images they see on TV, or the words they hear are “real, and true”. Some put their faith in RELIGION, or “CLIMATE CHANGE”, or scientific THEORIES like “the big bang, or evolution”, etc.
The important question is…what, or WHO do YOU put your faith in?
We pray that God’s Holy Spirit open our hearts and minds to better understand the breath, the depth, the width and the height of the love that God has for each of us in Christ Jesus! 💕