A Matter of the Heart

For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God. —Romans 2:28-29

You can say all the right things and still be far from God. That is because God is interested in the heart.  

Outwardly, the Jews kept the law. But inwardly, they violated it. God addressed this inconsistency through Isaiah the prophet, who told them, "These people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men" (Isaiah 29:13).  

If you continue living after the flesh, no ritual can save you.

What Paul is telling the Jews is that circumcision is worthless if you continue to live after the flesh.  

The same is true within the church. Some trust the ritual of baptism for their salvation, rather than a living relationship with Jesus. But baptism is only a symbol of the old life being buried and the new life being raised.  

You may go to church, you may sing all the songs, you may know the Word and say an occasional "Amen." But none of that makes you a child of God. He sees your heart. He knows if the two of you are enjoying the relationship of a Parent and child.  

Father, help us to have a pure heart and to love You wholeheartedly.  In Jesus' name, amen.