Today is Friday, January 26, 2018. Circumcision is an Old Testament practice that God uses to show His covenant promise with His people. Throughout the Bible God also uses this as a metaphor for the faithfulness or unfaithfulness (uncircumcision) of his people when they harden their hearts against Him. Paul uses this language of circumcision to emphasize that the faithfulness that God desires from His people is not signs of outward conformity but the faithfulness of our hearts. -Monica
(Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_Have you ever done something to check the ‘religious’ box without truly meaning it?
Thank God for His Spirit who opens our eyes to His truth and for His Word. Thank Him that Jesus is our righteousness, that we do not have to earn God’s approval by our own efforts. Praise Him!
DISCOVER [Romans 2.25-29]
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions below each portion of text to clarify the main point)
25 For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. 26 So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 27 Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law.28 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 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.
_ Circumcision is a mark of being God’s people, but in vs 25-27 Paul qualifies that with obedience to the law of God. Why does he do that?
_ In vs. 28-29 Paul emphasizes that circumcision is not purely outward, but inward. How so? What does that say about what God values in His people?
_ In vs. 29 What is the Spirit’s role in circumcision? What do you think that looks like?
_ What does this passage teach us about Jesus?, Power?, His Spirit?, or our calling as believers?
+ HOW am I compelled to confess sin and how does the gospel compel me to respond with a simple step of action/obedience? (Here are some thoughts to discuss in break-outs)
_ Is there a place where I am outwardly conforming, doing something that looks religious, but lacking the right heart motivation?
_ Is there something that I need to stop or start doing in light of this?
+ WHO are you walking with to discover or grow in Jesus and what is your next step with them, how can we help?
_ Is there someone you know who is stuck in the cycle of outward conformity to religious practices whom you can encourage with this truth?