“The Jewish ceremony of circumcision has value only if you obey God’s law. But if you don’t obey God’s law, you are no better off than an uncircumcised Gentile. And if the Gentiles obey God’s law, won’t God declare them to be his own people? In fact, uncircumcised Gentiles who keep God’s law will condemn you Jews who are circumcised and possess God’s law but don’t obey it. For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the ceremony of circumcision. No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.”
Romans 2:25-29 NLT
Once again, the Holy Spirit makes a clear declaration that we aren't pleasing in God's sight by outward observances of ritual or ceremony. How many people will attend church this weekend thinking "O, I did my duty" and walk out of a place of worship the same way they walked in: Lost. They are lost because they equate participation in the liturgy of a church service with being pleasing to God. No, pleasing God comes through submission to Jesus. He is the means of our fleshly circumcision (the cutting away of our sinful nature). The new covenant He established through His body and blood is the only atonement for our sin. There is NO OTHER option!!! We cannot rid ourselves of the Adamic nature (The depraved, sinful, wicked nature of humanity that came because of the sin of Adam). ONLY JESUS, the last Adam (see I Corinthians 15:45-47) can cut away our flesh (carnal, wicked nature). Only He never sinned (See 2 Corinthians 5:21 and Hebrews 4:15). Only a sinless sacrifice, as a substitution for the first Adam, could be the acceptable payment for our sin. Then, and only then, could we be accepted by God. When we trust our sinful lives to God, through Jesus, we undergo a transformation process. He makes us acceptable to God and restores us to right standing with God! He completely changes us from the inside out, not from the outside in. You can wash a pig, put a ribbon on its tail, spray it with perfume or cologne, take it to church, and teach it all of the manners of religious practice, but it's still a pig. The only way a pig can be anything else is through a divine transformation. The same is true with us. We CANNOT become anything other than what we are, apart from a divine transformation. That divine transformation is through the shed blood of Jesus! As 2 Corinthians 5:17 proclaims “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” KJV.
Rev. Curtis Norris