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Jesus Plus?

Jesus Plus?

Words of Faith 10-28-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Colossians 2

    [11] In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, [12] having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.    

 

      False religion can seep into a church sort of like an invisible gas that slowly displaces life-giving oxygen in the atmosphere.  As grace is replaced, death creeps in.  Such was the case in Colosse. 

      False religion had seeped into the Colossian church. Some were teaching that a particular ritual was necessary for salvation in addition to Jesus.  False religion often stresses ritual, ceremony, and outward form over Christ. Some, in the Colossian church, were calling for the ritual of circumcision in addition to faith in Jesus.

       We have to realize that circumcision had been a very important ritual of faith to the Jews for thousands of years since the time of Abraham. It symbolized two things: First, the faith of a man and his family in God was declared through this sign or testimony. Second, circumcision symbolized the cutting away of the "body of sins" that were in the flesh.

        But none of this was necessary in Christ!  Yet some had come among the Colossian believers teaching that a man had to be circumcised to be saved, that God would not accept him unless he was circumcised. For a man to give his heart and life to Jesus Christ was not enough. Even if he trusted Christ and gave all he was and had, God would not accept him unless he was circumcised.

        We can understand why Paul proclaimed so boldly to the Colossian believers a different kind of circumcision, not of the flesh but of the heart.  In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.    

       It is a powerful lesson since false teachings and religions frequently tend to add something to Christ in order to be saved.  In this case, a person could believe and trust Christ with his whole heart, surrendering all he was and everything he had to Christ, but that was not enough. The person had to do something else in order to make himself acceptable to God.

        Today, we probably have very few arguments over circumcision.  But we do have false teachings that arise when people try to “add to” the simple grace of the Lord Jesus that saves.  If we try to add any sort of ritual to the saving grace of Jesus or require any sort of ceremony, we fall into a false teaching and practice. 

        While the Scripture teaches clearly that genuine repentance will produce genuine fruit (Matt. 3:8) and faith without works is dead (James 2:20), we simply cannot argue that there is anything that need be added to the simple offer of salvation in Jesus. We are not saved by any ritual or ceremony.  We are not saved by Jesus plus baptism or Jesus plus kneeling at an altar or Jesus plus membership.  We are saved by Jesus.  As long as we can keep that clear and straight, we will be on the straight path.

 

        Father God, show me how to keep it simple.  I choose to focus only on You.  Manifest Your fruit in my life by Your Holy Spirit.  I will proclaim only You.  I will not add anything to the truth of Jesus and His grace.  In Jesus’ Name.

 

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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