Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Baptism Is Not Enough, Your Heart Must Be Circumcised

"The Cleansing" by Edwin Lester
"The Cleansing" by Edwin Lester

When you get baptized with the right attitude and for the right reasons, you feel light enough to literally spring up out of the water like a care-free dolphin. Something is different. If you're young, you don't quite understand what that 'something' is, but you like the feeling.

If you're an adult when you experience water baptism, and all the right elements are in place, you get the same feeling. Only this time, you know what it is. And you like it. The difference is: because you know more than you knew at age ten, you not only reverence the MOST HIGH, you fear Him. And you want to do what pleases Him because you love Him enough to fear His displeasure.

"...and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from GOD."  --Romans 2:29
What does this mean?

If you read the entire chapter, you'll understand that Paul was speaking to religious Jews who were more into traditional showmanship rather than the spirit of obedience that happens quietly within. These men contended over matters like 'circumcision vs uncircumcision'. 

Circumcision is the surgical removal of foreskin from the tip of the male penis and is customarily performed during infancy.

This is what the arguments and disagreements were about. The so-called Jews of that time were judging those who had not been circumcised as being unfit or unrighteous. Basing their claim on the Mosaic Law.

The Holy Spirit had recently come to the Upper Room where many gathered to wait for it, as Jesus had promised He would come after He departed. Those filled with the Spirit were going about preaching the gospel, that men should repent and be baptized. They were performing miracles by the power of the Spirit. And in the midst of that, Jews were stirring potential opposition by imposing tradition. [read the first chapter of Acts to the second chapter of Romans].

The problem with most church-goers is being too religious to be worth a damn. Nobody wants to deal with a religious, holier-than-thou person who finds something wrong with everybody while bragging about their own righteousness. Hypocrites. Plain and simple.

You know the story. We have all been hypocrites, even if only for a moment. The time it takes for you to come to yourself. See your own shortcomings. That's when you humble yourself and begin to "cut away" the bad parts of your character, your heart and your mind. This is what is meant by "circumcising the heart".
It's better to obey GOD while uncircumcised than to break His law though you were circumcised as an infant child. 
Don't you see:  It's not the cut of a knife that makes you righteous. It's the mark of GOD on your heart, not a knife on your skin, that makes you righteous. And recognition comes from GOD, not traditional critics.
Circumcising the heart is as painful as circumcising the flesh. When you have lived your life being petty, jealous, envious, angry, holding grudges and being covetous, these qualities are a part of you.

Tearing or cutting away virtues that are a part of you is uncomfortable. You can call the process a spiritual surgical procedure. You are using the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, to cut away these poisonous parts from your heart and mind.

Like having a physical surgery, you must recover. You must allow yourself time to regain strength. Become steadfast in your newness. This means you have to also cut away some people who bring poison into your life. Otherwise, you will go around those people and situations that draw you back into your old ways, reproducing poisonous qualities of anger, jealousy, and pettiness.

"Being saved" as we call it, is more than making a simple confession of "I'm saved". It's more than baptism or attending church. In fact, this transformational salvation is to save you FROM church!

The stuff we do in church IS NOT holy. ------Anytime we allow twerking in the church by a woman wearing a skin-tight bodysuit, who looks like she's ready for a stripper pole --our churchiness has serious problems.

Just know that while being baptized is necessary, cleaning up your heart and mind is the mystery of the REAL secret to becoming new. ---Be transformed by renewing your mind.

Without a clean heart and mind, baptism simply makes you a wet devil.

We should be tired of living like animals.


1 comment:

  1. Someone in-boxed me to ask this question: "I was baptized when I was twelve, do I need to be baptized again as an adult?"

    Anybody with any knowledge, experience or input please respond.

    Thanks in advance


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