We are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.
In Philippians 3:3, Paul said, “We are of the true circumcision.” In verse 2, Paul warned them to “beware of the false circumcision”–false teachers who said people must keep the law in order to be saved. Now Paul was telling them, “Be aware of the true gospel.” Paul was boldly saying, “We are part of the true faith.”
Notice that Paul was intolerant when it came to the gospel. Paul said, “We are the true circumcision”–the only group that is going to heaven one day. And I echo what Paul said. I, too, am part of the only group that is going to heaven one day. And what is my group? It is not the Baptist church. There are many Baptists who will spend eternity in hell. The only group that will be in heaven one day, the group that I’m part of, are those who have trusted in Jesus as their Savior. That is the one true faith. The Bible says only by being a part of that group can you be sure you will be in heaven one day.
Notice the two characteristics of the true gospel. First, the true gospel emphasizes the spiritual, not the physical. Paul said, “We . . . worship in the Spirit of God.” One way you can know if you’re a part of a false religion is, do they put emphasis on rituals and physical acts to earn God’s approval? God is not interested in the physical. He doesn’t care whether you worship in a cathedral or a hut. He doesn’t care if you worship with hymns or contemporary music. He cares about the attitude of your heart. Jesus said, “Those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).
Second, the true gospel is Christ-centered, not man-centered. It is not about what we do for God; it emphasizes what God has done for us. The mark of true faith is to “glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:3). You may have been deluded by false religion. It may not be a cult that tells its members to shave their heads or wear tunics. The false religion you may be part of right now may have a very respectable name. It may be the name of a well-known church, the name of a well-known denomination, but it is a false religion because it emphasizes works instead of faith in God’s grace. How can you know if you’re a member of a false religion? It’s very simple. Go to your spiritual teacher and ask this one simple question: “What do I have to do to go to heaven when I die?” If that spiritual teacher gives you a laundry list of things you need to do, you need to run as far and fast from that church as you possibly can because you’re in a false religion. There is only one good work that can save us. It’s the good work God performed for us through His Son, Jesus Christ. Those who are true Christians “put no confidence in the flesh.” That’s why Paul said, “Be aware of the true gospel.”
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Treasure or Trash?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2007.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.