Posted by my friend Robert Morphew on FB

The Works Of The Flesh

Galatians 6:12

As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.

In Paul’s day circumcision was a big deal! The physical act of circumcision separated Israel from the heathen ungodly Gentiles!

The Jew had reason to boast against the Gentiles. Notice:

Ephesians 2:11-12

11 Wherefore remember, that ye being IN TIME PAST Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, HAVING NO HOPE, and WITHOUT GOD in the world:
Being an uncircumcised Gentile meant that you had NO HOPE; you were WITHOUT GOD! It was on par with a racial slur that you were called “an uncircumcised Gentile!”

God made this covenant with Israel way back in Abraham’s day.

After God left the Gentile world to follow the “god” of this world post-Tower of Babel (Genesis 11), the next thing God did was make a promise to a nomadic idol worshipping Gentile named Abraham. God promised him a great nation. Circumcision was the sealing of this covenant.

Genesis 17:4, 7, 10-11

4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.

7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.

10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you SHALL BE CIRCUMCISED.

11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.

We can at least appreciate on “some” level the Jews apprehension and resistance to Paul preaching salvation APART from circumcision!

In any case, in the present dispensation of God’s grace which was given BY CHRIST to Paul, circumcision availeth NOTHING!

Unfortunately, 98% or so of denominational and non denominational Christianity alike has come up with other ways to “constrain” believers; that they may “boast in their flesh!”

They will “constrain” you to be water baptized, for example. If not, then you cannot be a member of good faith in their church!

They will constrain you to partake in their “tithing” program in order to be a member of “good standing!”

The word constrain is a good thing when used properly. Notice that the above religious duties are NOT what constrains us in 2 Corinthians 5.

2 Corinthians 5:12-15

12 For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them WHICH GLORY IN APPEARANCE, and not in heart.

13 For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.

14 For THE LOVE OF CHRIST CONSTRAINETH US; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

Being motivated or constrained by the love of Christ, NOT BY THREATS of excommunication from a denominational institution if you do not yield to their religious rituals!

The love of Christ teaches me that “circumcision” or ANY religious rite that ADDS to my completeness in Christ is not only unnecessary, but it will make the Cross of Christ “of none effect” for the believer.

1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me { Paul} NOT TO BAPTIZE, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

In other words, even though the person may have originally trusted in Christ alone, they have “ADDED” to it with their religious works. And it doesn’t have to be baptism or tithing.

It may be our service in our church that “we make a boast in!” Or perhaps in a community activity.

People that are like this tend to look down on other believers that are NOT SERVING the Lord like they are.

They are making a “fair show in the flesh” and their boasting is in their own works and not in Christ’s Cross! They “frustrate the grace of God!

Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

So then, it is the “love of Christ” that constrains us to serve him! Good works will naturally flow from us when we allow the doctrine of Paul’s 13 letters of grace to “renew our minds!”

We are totally accepted to God IN CHRIST by faith in what He did for us on that cruel, criminal Cross! We cannot be any more complete than we already are the MOMENT WE BELIEVED!

That’s grace!

Romans 6:14

For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Ephesians 1:6-7

6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Colossians 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

And this completeness is by God’s work, not our religious works!

Colossians 2:11-12

11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision MADE WITHOUT HANDS, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

12 Buried with him in baptism { what did he just say about “without hands?”}, wherein also ye are risen with him through THE FAITH OF THE OPERATION OF GOD, who hath raised him from the dead.
No water in that baptism!

1 Corinthians 12:13 For BY ONE SPIRIT are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Ephesians 4:4-6

4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

5 One Lord, one faith, ONE BAPTISM,

6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Preaching what I just did will not sit well with the religious hierarchy of your churches. Probably not with your religious family either!

But that is the “Offense of the Cross!”

Galatians 6:12-15

12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only LEST THEY SHOULD SUFFER PERSECUTION for THE CROSS IF CHRIST.

13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.

14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

And, finally!

Galatians 5:6

For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.


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