The Surgeon of the Heart (Rom 2:25-29)

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.” (Romans 2:29, ESV)

The entire premise of is that the condition of the heart of man and the heart of the church is what is important. In physical life, If the heart is not right, a person is not healthy and will not be able to function to his fullest capacity. This is the same in the spiritual life.

Here, Paul writes some things that would confound the Jewish people. He states that if the Jews who trusted in their circumcision, did not obey the law that their circumcision would become uncircumcision. Then he further shocks them by stating that if the uncircumcised obeyed the law, they would be regarded as circumcision. Moreover, the uncircumcised Gentile who would obey would end up condemning the circumcised Jew who did not obey. You will remember that Paul earlier stated that those who judge others, the Jews, also committed the same things by which they judged, meaning they too were transgressors.

The fact is that neither the Jew or Gentile were perfectly obedient to the law. Both were transgressors, for the law was incapable of dealing with the heart of the issue. The law could only expose the shortcomings of all men, but had not the power to heal the heart. Thus, Paul states that a real Jew is one who has had the surgical procedure of circumcising the heart and while man performed outward circumcision, only the Spirit of God could circumcise the heart.

I once witnessed to a Jewish man who was searching for answers. He knew a Christian woman who was much different that others who called themselves Christian. This seemed to confuse him until I explained this truth to him. Not all who say they are Christian have truly had the experience of regeneration, the work by which the Holy Spirit changes the heart. I explained that only these who have been born again are true Christians and, from what he had described, this Christian woman was different because she had such an experience of God’s grace.

So, friends, the law itself is good, but it cannot change the sin hardened heart. Only the Spirit of God can perform the surgery in circumcising the heart, regeneration, which changes the nature of the person. The difference in the heart is noticeable, changing the innermost desires from sin and self, to God and His righteousness. The Holy Spirit is the surgeon of the heart. Pray for those who say they are Christian but do not act like it. By the way, the Jewish man came to faith in Jesus for his salvation.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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