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Romans 2: 29

But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

This is a funny little verse when viewed from our modern perspective. Even more so since there are so many Christians who are not of Jewish origin. Of course, the first believers were almost exclusively Jewish. As Gentiles began joining the ranks of believers there arose debate and confusion. How can non-Jews be saved by the Jewish Messiah? What followed was a period of adjustment. Some who accepted that Gentiles could become followers of the Messiah expected, and indeed insisted, that those people should be circumcised. Paul, a Jew among Jews, was more enlightened on this subject than perhaps some would have expected. In resolving the dispute, he spoke to our time too.

Paul pointed out that being a Jew, or to paraphrase, being a believer, is an inward matter. In other words, Paul denied that faith was a matter of birthright. Instead, it is a matter of the heart. We believe with our hearts and speak with our mouths that Jesus is Lord. Being born into a race or even a household of faith is not a passkey to the family of God. God has made membership in His family elective. Even if Mama and Grandma were Christians, you can still go to hell if you choose. God will grieve but he will defend your right to make that decision. Likewise, being born on the wrong side of the tracks or in the deepest, most remote part of the world is no bar to your sitting at the Father’s table. Come one, come all. He wants us all to choose Him.

Inwardly, in our hearts, by God’s Spirit we choose to be a Jew. Our hearts are sealed in Christ Jesus as a member of his own family. If you look at our hearts, you can’t tell which of us were born Jewish and which of us were adopted. Only faith in Jesus as the born son of the Most High, who was sacrificed as the unblemished lamb, died and was raised from the dead and seated with God on high gets us a birth certificate with God as our Father. Nothing of the flesh, not circumcision nor works, avail anything. Salvation comes by faith, and that alone.

Accept your place in the family because you are as welcomed as any of the sons of Jacob. You have an inheritance in Jesus and you have a Father who loves you. You are not alone nor an outcast. You are His beloved and your heart tells the story.

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