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WOW! Did these verses from Psalms 78 ever smack me this morning!

“2 I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old- 3 what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. 4 We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.”

My son David has my four-year old granddaughter Maddy from Friday night through Sunday, and she is with her mom Cindy and step-dad through the week. David and Cindy have joint custody and get along beautifully where the little one is concerned. He is taking lessons to get his pilot’s license and the only regularly scheduled flying time he could get was early Sunday mornings. He brings Maddy to me on Saturday evenings and she spends the night with me and then he picks her up around 11:30 on Sunday mornings. We have been on this schedule for the past three months, which means that I go to church on Wednesday and Sunday evenings but not on Sunday morning.

This morning I felt like God was speaking directly to me and telling me that I need to get Maddy into Sunday School and church on Sunday morning. When I am keeping her it is my responsibility to see that her generation is in church just like I saw that my son attended church. I contacted both parents and let them know that starting this week Maddy and Nanny will be going to church on Sunday mornings from now on.

All day I’ve felt surrounded by the love of God and what a glorious feeling that is. Just thought I would share that little personal experience with you. I have had so many blessings through this Bible study. Yes, our Lord has truly blessed me!

God Bless!
Pat

Hey, I love that verse from Jeremiah too. It is a real challenge. It unspired me to write a song a few years ago. The first part goes like this:

Lord, you're looking for faithfulness
For hearts that are faithful and true
When you look my way, what do you do?
Sometimes I'm faithful, sometimes I'm untrue
When you look my way, what do you do?
And the Lord said:
Stand at the crossroads
The ancient path you used to walk in days long ago.
Tarry there, and you'll find rest for your weary soul.

I think that we have the tendancy to both want to run away from and run towards God at the same time. Thanks for the encouragement to walk that ancient pathway again towards deep relationship with our maker.

Remembering the circumstances of the Colossians to whom Paul was writing - people who had come out of all sorts of pagan religions. It becomes abundantly clear in the letter to them that having faith in Jesus is a totally different matter from believing in some man made tradition.

"For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority." (Col 2:9-10 NIV) Three massive points in one sentence:

- Christ was fully man and fully God,
- we become part of that same Christ (His Spirit dwells in us, He is Lord and Head of the Body of which we become part),
- He has authority over all (spiritual) principalities and powers - we share in that authority.

Stuff in one sentence to provide the basis for a whole book of theology.

"Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence." (Col 2:20-23 NIV)

Big warnings here against slipping into man made traditions in the way we do church - dress codes, eating codes, behaviour codes, building codes, leadership hierarchies, liturgy traditions, worship styles can all give an appearance of wisdom, piety and holiness. But if we forget that we are dead to the world and alive (only) in the fulness and freedom of Christ all these rules and traditions are dead wood.

Andrew,

Liked your comment and glad to see you back posting.

Two things:
1)It was not just the fact that people came out of pagan religions, but there were false teachers coming in after Paul. Primarily the Gnostics - who taught you could not be "complete in Christ". That is why Paul is driving so hard at teaching the "completeness in Christ" in this letter. For a quick 5 minute summary of Gnosticism (about halfway down the page)this link seems to be pretty good.
http://biblia.com/christianity2/3b-gnosticism.htm

2)I would point out that in your list of man made traditions - there is teaching in the bible regarding leadership. I think it is important to note that regarding "church" positions - very little is said about what to do - and most of the emphasis is to the qualifications of the leader. It seems to me that the qualifications essentially go to character and exhibiting the fruits of the spirit.

Whenever the "church" seems to get in trouble in this area - it is usually because the offender has either turned from God, or was never there (IN Christ)in the first place.

Of course, rigourous structures of leadership with pomp, ceremony, court ritual, fancy garb, infallability, or extraneous layers of administration - would appear to stray from the intentions of the Bible instructions on leadership. In that sense - you are exactly correct.

Everything is a danger when the source of reasoning is man's.

Jeremiah 6:16-8:7

I know I have stated this before but it’s worth repeating, the judgments, the rebuke, the warnings are all directed toward Judah and Jerusalem, not some “heathen” sinners, it is God’s people who are idolatrous. They go to the Temple to pray, to offer sacrifices, to worship, but what they are offering up to God is not what God is requires.

How often do I go to church, offer up a sacrifice of praise, raise my hands in worship but my heart is far from God. Going through the motions with a divided heart or a distracted heart is simply idol worship because we are not focused on God. Just because we stand in worship in church makes us no more a true worshiper then standing in a garage makes us a car. Does God have my heart or have I given it to some other in acts of idolatrous, adulterous worship?

Colossians 2:8-23

Mike asks us a question regarding our hearing vain philosophies and high-sounding nonsense. I work in a college so I can hear a multitude of ideas, philosophies and nonsense that passes itself off as wisdom. However, without the measuring rod of true wisdom, the Word of God, one can easily find oneself following the truly blind into the microwave oven. There are many voices in this world calling out for our attention, our money and our loyalty. Which voice will we submit too, the worlds’ or Christ’s

Psalm 78:1-31

It is good to rehearse in the hearing of our young the testimonies, past and present of God’s provision in Israel’s wilderness experience as well as our own. Not only does this teach the young about the ways of God but it also reminds the speaker of God’s faithfulness in the midst of trials.

So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself).
(Rom 10:17 AMP).

Proverbs 24:26
I think it is an honor to receive an honest reply because this means the speaker values you so much as to tell you the truth no matter the cost to themselves. Honest replies are rare and rarer still is receiving a straightforward reply with graciousness and thanksgiving. After all, Jesus was persecuted because He spoke the Truth. No, in societies, past and present, honest replies are rare and devalued. . In fact Truth can get you killed, but Truth is the only thing that will stand when everything else fails and falls. Truth crushed to the ground will always rise.

The world’s motto should be, “Tell me a lie so I can feel good.”

Jeremiah 6 (NKJV)
19
Hear, O earth! Behold, I will certainly bring calamity on this people—
the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not heeded My words nor My law, but rejected it.

NOTE:
We always have to be listening for the Spirit. We generate our own thoughts, as we are each individuals created in the image of God.

Part of that image— part of being like God under His authority— is to have a mind.
~~~

Romans 8 (NKJV)
27
Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
34
Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

Notice just from Romans chapter 8 that the entire Trinity reveals God’s mind:
a.
There is “the mind of the Spirit”
b.
God the Father “searches the hearts” and “knows” – God the Father has His “will”
c.
Christ “makes intercession” for us.

I Corinthians 2 (NKJV)
16
For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” [Isaiah 40:13] But we have the mind of Christ.

Notice here reference to “the mind of the LORD” and “the mind of Christ”.

And the devil and his deliberately rebellious and deceptive minions also have their own mind:

2 Corinthians 2 (NKJV)
10
Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one [or: For indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it] for your sakes in the presence of Christ,
11
lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Ephesians 6 (NKJV)
11
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

“Satan chosen devices”; and there are the “wiles [schemes] of the devil”
~~~

We must be very careful of the thoughts that we accept or reject. My thoughts will bear fruit. What fruit it will be will depend on whether I “heed God’s Word” or heed another word.
~~~

Jeremiah 7 (NKJV)
8
“Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit.
9
Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know,
10
and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are delivered to do all these abominations’?
11
Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of thieves in your eyes? Behold, I, even I, have seen it,” says the LORD.

NOTE:
We are NOT delivered from sin to simply do whatever we want. We are called to do God’s will.

In our many failings, may we seek the Lord quickly and early.

May our lives not be characterized as “a den of thieves”. We will be called “thieves” because who we are and what we do is to be offered to our Master and Savior.

We are not to “steal” from Him as if we are our own master.
~~~

Jeremiah 7 (NKJV)
23
But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’

NOTE:
God is interested that things “go well with us”. Even suffering that is allowed by God, that the enemy brings against us
will not stop God's Will for our well-being from coming to pass.

That is, we will not be detracted if we sincerely love and obey the Lord “that it may be well with us”.

The enemy always brings this lie: “God is not good. If He were, He would take better care of you. He does not care about you.”

Rather, the devil who promises instant gratification and who seeks to undermine patience and trust— he is the one who does not care about us.

He is the liar.
~~~

Jeremiah 8 (NKJV)
5
Why has this people slidden back, Jerusalem, in a perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit, they refuse to return.
6
I listened and heard, but they do not speak aright. No man repented of his wickedness, saying, ‘What have I done?’ Everyone turned to his own course, as the horse rushes into the battle.
7
“ Even the stork in the heavens knows her appointed times; and the turtledove, the swift, and the swallow observe the time of their coming. But My people do not know the judgment of the LORD.

NOTE:
May we learn from nature. All the creatures in the world know their appointed way and their appointed times, and we marvel at the harmony and structure of it all.

May we learn from birds and animals that there is a way— a good way— that is appointed for us. That way is the way of Love— to love God with all of my heart and to love my neighbor as myself as I depend on the Love of God.

Currently, because of sin, “that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now” (Romans 8:22). Someday, all of nature and creation will be free from the effects of man’s sin.
~~~

Colossians 2 (NKJV)
8
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
9
For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
10
and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

NOTE:
These verse stand alone, and yet are also an excellent comment on all of the verses from Jeremiah.

THANK GOD that, through the work of Christ, “we are complete IN HIM”.

Colossians 2 (NKJV)
11
In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,
12
buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
13
And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,
14
having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
15
Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

NOTE:
In these verses, the Lord has chosen to provide insight into HOW “we are complete in Christ”:
a.
On the Cross, our sin nature was literally “circumcised. . .by the circumcision of Christ [Himself]”
b.
We are “buried with Christ in baptism” – our chosen participation into the work of Christ
c.
We were “raised with Him—Christ” and “made alive with Christ”
d.
God has “forgiven us all our trespasses” because Christ took all of the offenses upon Himself in our place—as our Substitute and as our Representative. In this way, the “handwriting of requirements that was against us”—that is the certificate of debt with any accompanying condemnation—has been “taken. . . out of the way, having nailed it to the cross”.
e.
Thus the “principalities and powers” of the devil’s forces have no power over us—AS LONG AS WE ABIDE IN CHRIST.

Again, the thoughts you and I chose to accept will determine our outcome.
~~~

PRACTICALLY, this means that when we find our humanity being attracted by the sin nature, we can depend on the ABILITY OF CHRIST WHO OBEYED to strengthen us and help us to obey.

WE HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST since Christ Himself, by His Spirit, literally indwells within true believers who have sincerely repented and trusted in Christ as Savior and Lord.

MAY WE TRUST IN THE ABILITY OF THE MIND AND PRESENCE OF CHRIST. . . so that our weaknesses are transformed into testimonies OF HIS GRACE!
~~~

Psalm 78 (NKJV)
29
So they ate and were well filled, for He gave them their own desire.
30
They were not deprived of their craving; but while their food was still in their mouths,
31
The wrath of God came against them, and slew the stoutest of them, and struck down the choice men of Israel.

NOTE:
I must always be careful for what I desire—and so should you. If we intensely and persistently desire for something, God may give it to us.

That is what “craving” means—desire all out of proportion. “I must have this. I must have that”.

Then, once we get that “thing” or that “person”— if it is not God’s chosen will for us— we experience the results that come from getting what we wanted.

OH MAY WE CULTIVATE AND LIVE IN THE BLESSEDNESS OF THE FEAR AND LOVE OF THE LORD!

Vance

good word mike on the cult of 'pastor personalities'. It's getting obscene in my opinion. We have developed the cult of 'hot communication' and the latest bible teachers who have figured out the latest ways to keep people attentive. Does it result in people becoming more intimate with Jesus and His Word, and more focused on relating to people disconnected from God? If so, then great, but if we are just developing 'bible study junkies' and 'worship music junkies' let's take another look at what's happening to us.

Jeremiah 6:13-14 warns us about 'prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people, as though it were not serious. Peace, peace when there is no peace."

not all pastors and priests are like this but Jeremiah gives a solid warning that we need to heed, that I NEED TO HEED.

wow...yes, that video made me cry!

Colossians 2:8
A Warning

Col 2:8
"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ." NIV

You can go to several major (professing Christian) church denomination websites - and I mean major - and on the home page or under church belief page - you can see them say - "Scripture, tradition", or "Scripture, tradition, reason".

It looks good putting Scripture first, but if you read their explanation it is God's Word unless (that particular) church tradition contradicts - then you are to believe church tradition. Ergo God's word from the Bible is incorrect. Even worse are the one(s) who include reason. If reason contradicts God's Word and church tradition - reason rules. This is realtivism, and leads the way for people doing anything they want regarding worship and attitude towards God.

If you are in such a denomination, and you are a believer. You need to pray, reflect on the issue, and decide if as a member of the body of Christ that you will allow yourself to be hijacked by this deceptive and hollow philosophy. There is no way you will progress in your Christian walk if you follow and adhere to the practices of these deceptive churches. Which is exactly what satan wants to happen. If you are not a believer - let me just warn you - you have been hijacked and are going down the broad road that leads to destruction that Jesus mentions in Gospels.

When mankind ignores God's revealed Word - it always ends up with man thinking he can somehow earn or deserve heaven (paradise). Every other religion (besides true Christianity) or life philosophy is about what we do here will send us, after death, to the appropriate place in afterlife or next life. This is bull at the highest level. This whole plan is about God's glory and He shares it with no one. There is nothing you can do to earn salvation or maintain it. If God saves you - He does it through Christ, and you are His forever. Period. God does not make mistakes.


Colossians 2:9-23

9For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form

Paul says Jesus is God. The Father is spirit, but the fullness (completeness) of God lives in bodily form. There is a human body already in heaven, and it is Christ - and He is God. that is why it says there is one man who acts as mediator betwen God and man - Jesus Christ. That is why Christ told the Apostles - you see me - you see the Father. How that all works beats me - but Paul says it, Jesus says it - it is good enough for me.
======================================================
12having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

This is why I believe baptism should be done immersion style for adults or children of accountability age (varies with child's spiritual maturity). Baptism does not save. Baptism is a symbol of your acceptance of Christ as your Lord and Savior done before other believers. It comes after confessing your belief before the assembly. Going under water symbolizes going in the grave like Christ - dead in our sins - and coming up symbolizes us being raised up in our new life as a new creation - a child of God and co-heir to heaven.
======================================================
14having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.

Christ conquered death upon His ressurection, His death on the cross negated the use of the Law anymore - he took it away - nailed it to the cross.

Our sins have been forgiven - past, present, and future. Right? No longer can written laws, codes, or leagalism from any present church hold any sway or authority over us. Those regulations no longer hang over our heads requiring atonement for every time we screw up. Judicially we have been forgiven all from the moment of salvation.

Instead of hanging as a threat over our head (this would make God some mean entity who is waiting for us to screw up so we could be punished), the law is in our hearts. When we trust in, rely on, and depend on God for our Christian walk - yield to Him in the Father-child role, and access the Holy Spirit. We walk in the Spirit, in love - the law is in our hearts and can be considered the road we walk on. If we truly are walking in the Spirit - in love - then we love God and fellow man and we will not violate things in the law. If we do, we confess and get the Fatherly forgiveness that restores our relationship with God - the Father, and continue to access the Spirit.
======================================================
16Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

This is the clearest teaching I know in the Bible - that it DOES NOT matter what day you set aside for the Lord in worship. All those rules, holidays, and Sabbath were just shadows of what was to come. They weren't real - they were pointing to Christ.

If you get caught up in rigourously following any of the above - you are in danger of focusing on these past shadows (that have been dissolved by the light that is Christ), and missing what is real. That is Christ abiding in us and us in Him. Missing out on what is real in the Father and our role as children that depend on Him to conform us into the image of Christ. It is not about external "stuff" it is about Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit.

Worse yet, if you follow the ways of the shadows of the past - you may become jaded, clock-punchers, just going thru the motions. God has already said many times in Jeremeiah and Isaiah that rituals (even prescribed ones for those times) that are not done with the right heart are "putrid" to Him - as foul smoke approaching His nostrils.

Remember what Jesus told the Samaritan woman - there is coming a time where God's true believers will worship Him in the Spirit and in the truth. Paul is saying that is not necessarily done by just following the shadows of the past, but in satying with what is REAL. That is Christ, the Father, and the Holy Spirit.

Jeremiah 7
False Religion Worthless

Another one of those interesting incidents where Jeremiah and Paul (in collosians) are addressing the same issue.

What is going on in Judah? If you go back to 2Chron34-35 this is when Josiah is attempting to clean up Judah. The book of the Law has been found in the accumulation of stored "stuff" in the temple. Josiah is scared and is trying to make it right, there hasn't been a Passover for a 100 years, and so Josiah decides to implement the grandest Passover ever. The people are relieved - surely God will be pleased with this worship and deliver us from prophesied exile.

"The priests were swinging their incense pots, chanting as they went, and the choir was singing a hymn which included these words: "The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord." People were heaving a sigh of relief and thinking, "Now God is satisfied. Now he will save us. Now the nations around will not take us over, because at last we are settling our religious accounts with God." - Ray Stedman

Enter Jeremiah in Chapter 7 - HOLD UP. Do you think some religious ceremony done with deceptive hearts will make amends to God. God is no toy to be played with when you want only to go back to wicked ways afterwards. God is not stupid. God knows your hearts. He is not pleased by this kind of hollow ceremony.

Jer 6:20
Your burnt offerings are not acceptable;
your sacrifices do not please me."

"The gist of his message was, "Whom do you think you're kidding? Do you really think God is like this, that all he is interested in is religious games, rituals that you go through? Do you really think that if you merely get all this religion going, God will be fooled and will spare this land? Don't you know that God knows what is going on?" - Ray Stedman

[I believe applicable as a warning for Hollow worship done in modern times.]
======================================================
Jeremiah is told to stop praying.

Huh? I thought we were always to pray. Yes we are, but this is special -God commanded Jeremiah to stop praying for Judah, but continue preaching even though God told Jeremiah Judah would not listen.

This saddened Jeremiah beyond belief - Jeremiah did not understand. What is going on? If we take a step back perhaps we can see.

Judah has been warned - God is patient, He always gives warning. Judah had been called back tenderly in love by God, but they rejected God. At some point in time when warnings are not heeded and loving calls to return are ignored, God will impose judgment. That is where Judah is at right now. And what this nation needed to restore it and heal it was judgment.

That is why Jeremiah was told to stop praying and keep preaching. If you look back in Scripture - praying delays judgment, and preaching hastens it. This is now a time for judgment.

As Ramona said - this is being addressed to God's chosen people. The same application can be made to believers (God's chosen people) - if we do not yield to the Father and refuse to access the Christian walk - if we try to do it on our own or simply ignore our faith (something satan desparately wants), we will get warnings, we will be called back in love, but at some point we will be punished or chastised. We will be brought down by punishment so that we can be restored in the Father.

God will address Jeremiah's concerns tomorrow.

heavy words in Jeremiah...probly the worst thing one could ever hear about themselves from God: v.6 “ Therefore do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them, nor make intercession to Me; for I will not hear you."
course whoever was in that state probly wouldnt care at the time, nor be concerned that God totally gave them up.

Col. 2:23 "These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh."
I can think of a few religions this verse pertains to, like the self-denial itself is their religion.


v 18 "Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind"
I can think of some religious leaders who this pertains to! God loves His own and hates them being taken advantage of them. He cares for the poor n helpless. He hates this fake false act so many ppl wear... then and today.

Jeremiah 4-5

Up to chapter 4 God has been saying - "there is a way back' - Return, repent, circumcise your heart, then I will restore.

There is long patience, repeated warnings, offers of restoration - and when all that is ignored, the only thing left is judgment.

It was true for the Amalekites, it was true for Israel , and it is and will be true for mankind.

Then Jeremiah through the Lord sees the destruction, and he is horrified and can only cry - BEWARE!

Jer 4:23 "I looked at the earth,
and it was formless and empty;
and at the heavens,
and their light was gone." NIV

"formless and empty" are the exact same words as in Genesis1. this is the reversal of the creation, yet...

Jer4:27 "This is what the LORD says:
"The whole land will be ruined,
though I will not destroy it completely."NIV

There will always be a remnant, a people that will be with the Lord.

So when all is ignored - the warnings, the prophecies, the offers of restoration - we have judgment. The Israelites experianced it here with Babylon (upcoming), and mankind will experiance it with Christ's Second Coming.

Jer5:29 "Should I not punish them for this?"
declares the LORD.
"Should I not avenge myself
on such a nation as this?"

God is immutable, He does not change. Why should mankind think that when they act in the same way as Israel does here - that God will not come to the point of judgment.

Jer5:31b
" But what will you do in the end?"

In death now, or in the Second Coming - what will you do, what will you say? I was raised to believe a certain way? I was pretty good? I did not have enough evidence to trust in Christ? Why weren't you more clear?

The point is - you should be saying nothing. You have nothing to say to the Creator of the Universe. You have NOTHING to bring to the table - the ONLY solution is to be covered in the blood of Christ,that you be seen through God's eyes as Jesus, and that will only happen if Jesus is your Personal Savior.

I know some will think I am off on my reasoning, that I am too literal, a fundamentalist, that mankind has to play a role in Salvation - 'that is what makes sense, or what I was taught, etc'.

My question to you is not new. Paschal formulated it a long time ago:

Regarding Salvation and a Personal Savior: The point is not - if I am right, but WHAT IF YOU are wrong?

The implications are eternal.

"I absolutely love the imagery Paul uses in verse 11 today: "When you came to Christ, you were "circumcised," but not by a physical procedure. It was a spiritual procedure--the cutting away of your sinful nature." The cutting away of your sinful nature!"

I get your meaning, but I think you haven't looked at the other side of that image. The foreskin is not "unclean" or anything like sinful nature (it's a gift of God, if you will). 3/4 of the world's men have them, and Paul is adamant that if you have one you should keep it. Isn't this imagery going to reinforce the common but false notion tht it's "extra", "disgusting" etc. and should be removed? (That's pretty hard on the only non-circumcised kid in school.) The imagery was created at at time and place when all men were circumcised. That is no longer the case.

For today, perhaps you could say something like "Jesus clears your spiritual mortgage" or "Jesus pays off your spiritual overdraft."

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