Neither traditions nor things of the flesh change people
1 Corinthians 7:18 -
Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.
Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship with the one and only God. We come to know God because we are called by Him to know Him and we should be grateful to Him always for had He not called we would never had known Him.
Many people think Christianity is a religion and put traditions into and thus loose on the relationship with God, the very essence of Christianity. In today's message Paul is warning the people about the practices of the Jews. The Jews were considered people of God and to become a Jew one needed to be circumcised. First thing get it cleared Jesus said 'those who are not with Me are against Me'. So ask yourself what is the position of a Jew? Does he believe in Jesus? Is he with Jesus? Do you know a Jew believes Jesus is a mad prophet and Jesus is currently in hell in a pot of boiling oil? If a Jew rejects Jesus, he is not with Jesus then according to Jesus he is against Jesus. Any Jew who believes in Jesus ceases to be a Jew and becomes a Christian. As he or she grows in relationship with God he or she will also stop the traditions of the flesh and follow God in Spirit.
In Paul's letter to the Romans Paul takes great trouble again and again to point out the Israel (Jews) God refers to as His people are not the people of traditions but of faith. It is by their belief in God thus become His people and not by traditions become His people. Jesus being the only way needs to be party to this belief.
There are many, many Christians who have become (so called) Christians via traditions. Baptism is like marriage. The exchanging of ring is not marriage but is a tradition which is more for the people and not for the real purpose. According to God when a man and woman come together physically in commitment they become one and are considered married. That is the reason Paul points the bed to be given respect and should not be defiled.
There are Christians who pour water on heads of people / infants and claim them as Christians. And there are others who dip people in water and consider them as Christians. These are traditions which are for people's eyes and that is why Jesus personally did not do these practices. Baptism or dipping in water was started by John the cousin of Jesus. Moses had his own baptism, so did Abraham, both did not get immersed in water yet will be in Heaven. Traditions are good for people but they do not mean anything if the essence is lost. To be immersed in the understanding of Jesus Christ by rejecting the understanding of the world is true baptism. Any tradition of the flesh like circumcision goes against the very essence of Jesus Christ therefore contradicts baptism and Christianity, therefore Paul writes against doing or undoing it. It is not by our works we are saved from hell but only by our faith in Jesus Christ. The circumcision needs to be done to the inner-man and this no man can do, that it is why it is more spiritual and not ritual.
Now that Resurrection Sunday is at hand many Churches plan for baptism. Today's message goes to these people who give more importance to the exchanging of rings but not more to them become one in understanding of who Jesus Christ is. Also do not consider teaching people about the church, its traditions or its prayers will make anyone a Christian, but only by their relationship with Jesus Christ will one become a Christian.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, many call themselves Christians but are not because they become one by following traditions and not by knowing You or having an relationship with You. Lord we pray that people wake up and reject the traditions of man and do that which is in Spirit. We pray for true Christians so that they grow in Spirit and become true Israel...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
28 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.
Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich [the one who supplies] to all that call on him.
1 When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,
2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)
1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
To understand Baptism read http://www.savedbyfaith.info/Baptism.pdf
To understand being an Israel read http://www.savedbyfaith.info/Am_I_an_Israelite.pdf
|The Word of God was given free to us, therefore we should also share it freely with others.
(All rights are with God)