God’s Righteousness Upheld
Today’s scripture discusses the tradition of circumcision in the Jewish faith. Circumcision was the great mark of the covenant and had its beginning with Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation (Gen. 17). Paul points beyond the physical evidence to the condition of the heart: “But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God” (v. 2:29). Paul goes on to highlight how self-righteousness will block us off from “knowing the way of peace” (v. 3:17-18). As I meditate on this verse I am reminded that my spiritual condition is not measured by outward signs such as a decal on my car, the jewelry I wear, or the reminders of my Savior displayed in my prayer room. My spiritual growth and development is related to my submission of my heart to be changed by the Holy Spirit. I try to begin my day by submitting myself to God, asking Him to remove my defects of character –especially self-centeredness and anxiety. My spiritual condition responds to the investment of time that I make in studying God’s word and seeking His will. I am grateful to worship at St Peters, a church that is centered on the Gospel, for that is the foundation that leads me to freedom one day at a time and appreciation for the following chapters that remind me of the measurement of faith not works.
Stepping Out in Lent – As I go through the Lenten season I will seek to fully submit myself to God’s will each day after taking the time to thank Him for His grace, and seek the Spirit’s reconstruction of my heart. I hope to remember that, for me, it is an inside job with my Lord.
Author – Matt Brown and his wife Bev joined St Peter’s a year ago after being active in Episcopal and Methodist denominations. Matt has spent many years serving as a volunteer in Kairos Prison Ministry with other members of St. Peter’s. Matt and Bev have two children and five grandchildren.