Are You a Jew?

If I were to ask this question to
you I would expect several different answers.
“How can anyone be called a Jew
when the records and genealogies were destroyed?”
“No! I’m a Christian.”
“I’m a Gentile – not a Jew.”
“In Christ there is neither Jew
nor Greek – Galatians 3:28.”
All of these answers are good
answers and they all are correct, but they are also all wrong. It depends on
what perspective you are looking from. If you look from the perspective of
nationality or religious practice (i.e. temple, sacrifices, etc.), then those
answers are 100% correct, but if you look from the perspective of attitude and
respect towards God, then you may want to consider answering “yes.”

For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:  (29) 
But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the
heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of
God
” (Romans 2:28-29).

Notice that it is the inward man
that God is focusing on. A “real Jew” in God’s eyes is one who has had his
heart circumcised, is in the spirit, and who seeks the praise of God. One of
the main questions that Paul is dealing with in Romans is “The Law or The
Gospel?” He shows here, as he does in Galatians, that the receivers of the
promises would be those who love God (see John 14:15).

And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according
to the promise
” (Galatians 3:29).
 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise
(Galatians 4:28).


Circumcision of the Heart

In order to be part of spiritual
Israel (Galatians 6:16) one must have their heart circumcised. To the “natural
man” that might sound repulsive, but to the individual who has the right
mindset, this teaching would be welcomed. 

But
the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are
foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually
discerned.  (15)  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things,
yet he himself is judged of no man
” (I Corinthians 2:14-15).

Nicodemus, for instance, couldn’t
understand what Jesus meant in John 3:12 because he was looking at things from the
wrong perspective.
What is circumcision of the heart? It
is baptism.

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, wherein also ye
are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised
him from the dead
” (Colossians 2:11-12).

 In the Spirit

For
they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that
are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 
(6)  For to be carnally minded is
death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  (7) 
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to
the law of God, neither indeed can be. 
(8)  So then they that are in the
flesh cannot please God.  (9)
  But ye
are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell
in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his

(Romans 8:5-9).

In order to be “in the spirit,” one
must have the spirit of God (also called the spirit of Christ) dwelling within
them. How can this be? I thought miraculous gifts have passed away? The spirit
dwells in us today through the word (compare Ephesians 5:18-19 and Colossians
3:16).

 Seek the Praise of God

In Romans 2:28-29, Paul contrasts
this with those that seek the praise of men. This brings to my mind several
passages such as Matthew 6:1ff and Acts 5:29.

Take
heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have
no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 
(2)  Therefore when thou doest
thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the
synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say
unto you, They have their reward
” (Matthew 6:1-2).

Then
Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather
than men
” (Acts 5:29).
 For
they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God
” (John 12:43).

Has your heart been circumcised? Are
you in the spirit? Do you seek the praise of men or of God? Are you a Jew?

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