Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing.
Thoughts for Today:In the First Century A.D., there was an almost impenetrable barrier between Jews and Gentiles. It was a mutual loathing. The Jews were viewed as a people who thought themselves aloof -- even though they did not always live up to the standards of their own Laws (Romans 1:18-32). On the other hand, the Gentiles were considered "unclean" and therefore repulsive as far as the Jews were concerned. In fact, when Paul first arrived in Corinth (Acts 18:9-18), he was also caught up in the conflict between the two cultures.
In our passage today, Paul indicates that circumcision (or the lack of it) is nothing -- it doesn't matter. Can you imagine the outrage this teaching must have caused throughout the Jewish community (both inside and outside the church)? From Paul's point of view, under the Lordship of Jesus there is no excuse for conflicts between Jews and Gentiles; and furthermore, he considered the Old Testament rituals (circumcision included) to be dead and buried with Christ. Colossian 2:11-12: "In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead."
Questions to Ponder:Have you established your own rituals for holiness? A place or a time of prayer? A certain way to prepare yourself? Perhaps a certain seat at church? Paul tells us none of this matters. Only what Christ has done for us. He alone has made a sacrifice worthy of our salvation. Will you accept His gift and go to the Father today? Forget the rituals and self-imposed traditions. Don't wait any longer.