Home » Monday: Boasting in the Flesh    


Monday: Boasting in the Flesh — 19 Comments

  1. Yeah, the sunday-keeping churches-saying that the "Jewish" Sabbath is done-away with.
    While it is NOT about the Sabbath, but a relationship with The Christ, that of--Our Salvation, it still begs the point that, If we are trying to get to know someone, and besides doing our due- diligence to get to know that person very well, we ought to most certainly try to "meet that person halfway", if they make a point of stating their expectations towards their values. Also thus-not only saying, but doing so!
    We ought to try to at least understand those personal values and way of life practices, if not doing them right off! And we should try to understand them at their core.

  2. God forbid that I boast in anything but the Cross of Jesus Christ. To me that means, Jesus keep me near the Cross, there's precious fountian. Free to all, a healing stream, flows from Calvary's mountain. I am so thankful my father and mother made hymns a major part of my life at an early age.

  3. We are full of discrepancies! No matter what we think of ourselves, we have nothing that can save us, anyways. Thus, a life of struggle with Christ may be more intelligent than alone! He can help us to carry our own loads! And still give us peace among all the crazy events surrounding us right now... We are at the border to go home. Earth is sick... Men are destroying it. That's why Jesus is coming soon!

  4. The Judaizers in Galatia were adamant for the rite of circumcision, so much so that they were compelling the Gentile Christians to be circumcised. The rite of circumcision was an everlasting ordinance Gen 17:13,14, the disregarding of which could render the member to be “cut off” from the covenant people.

    In John 7:22, 23 at the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles (a required ordinance for the covenant people) Jesus said in effect that the people had placed circumcision as greater in importance than even the Sabbath.

    Both the Judaizers in Christ’s time and the those at the time of Paul’s writing were pushing a specific aspect of the covenant, while disregarding the law. Paul said that not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. Gal 6:12,13.

    This same attitude exists in many today. They denigrate Sunday-keepers, and insist that these people keep the seventh-day Sabbath, so that they can add numbers to their cause, and boast in the flesh. Yet, these do not keep the law, and show the absence of the Spirit of Christ and the attitude of “self-renouncing love.”

    We who have come to know the grace of God should not look at ourselves as better than others who many not hold our persuasion. We should not push “circumcision” or “Sabbath-keeping” or “commandment-keeping” or any other rite until we have presented the gospel in its fullness. Our lives, our deportment, and our attitude should demonstrate the power of the indwelling Christ and the effect of a changed life. People should be able to see that we have been, and are, with Jesus. Acts 4:13. They would come to us asking, what must I do to be saved? Acts 16:30,31; John 6:28,29. Having presented the full gospel and the message of the power of the Holy Spirit, who is the one who changes hearts and minds, the relevant aspects of Christian living will naturally follow.

    • I think this comment is so right on! To God be the glory! Let us show love instead of trying to glory in what we think we have done ourselves or helped others to do to gain heaven. Only God can change the heart and only He can save and none of the credit belongs to us!

  5. God dd not promise us a smooth and easy life here on earth ,our lives maybe very tough but we must knw DAT der is a home for those who persever until the end we may suffer persecution ,but we must knw that God is always on our side its better to walk in the dark with Jesus than alone in day light

  6. These words by the Apostle Paul are some of the most profound expression of feelings found in the New Testament to everyone trying to follow Christ. Similar strong words are found in the Old Testament in Jeremiah 9:23. God sends the prophet with this stern warning :" Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches. . ." The devil strives on delusions. One of the perversions of the divine plan is a drift toward self-glorification. To the Jews circumcision became their focal point not Christ. What they failed to realise is that a spin turns the whole truth into a lie. Idolatry is the masterful, powerful working of Satan against truth and righteousness, and therefore against God. In this case circumcision became their focus of worship not Christ. The devil turned the whole truth of circumcision into idolatry. The reward is not of works, lest any man should boast; but it is all of grace. God declares in Hosea 6:6 "For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings." Let all those who desire to follow Christ take heed of Paul's words of wisdom.

  7. Paul in exposing the false teachers in Galatia who use force and manipulation says: "those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised..." He maintains that their motivation was "simply that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ." It was clear to Paul that the false teachers were in conflict with the fact that the death and resurrection of Christ served and still serves as the only acceptable remedial and restorative action by God. There was nothing more that man needed to do than what Jesus had already accomplished. Paul further exposes the enemies of the gospel as being hypocritical when he pointed out that: "those who are circumcised do not even keep the law themselves,..." He goes on to point out the selfish motivation of these false teachers: "they desire to have you circumcised, that they may boast in your flesh."

    Sad to say, we find the same hypocrisy and arrogance in our churches today where the main focus is on putting pressure on non-Adventists to convert. I have heard saints putting other denominations down and stating that the Adventist Church is the only true Church. There is also a sickening emphasis is on statistical reporting of souls gained. This is happening in my Conference now that we are heading to our session. I submit that we require men and women who continue to work tirelessly, in humility for the Lord letting the Holy Spirit to His work of converting souls.

  8. Exclusion is a form of Persecution. I've been dealing with this my whole life, especially in my young adult life. I'm glad I read this tonight. Following Jesus comes with persecution.

  9. Quote from Fred Roberts:
    "We should not push “circumcision” or “Sabbath-keeping” or “commandment-keeping” or any other rite until we have presented the gospel in its fullness. Our lives, our deportment, and our attitude should demonstrate the power of the indwelling Christ and the effect of a changed life."

    How can we indwell Christ or change our life without pushing the commandment-keeping? I agree with not pushing "circumcision" because it was clearly part of the traditional rites that ends with the cross. Bur commandment-keeping? The Sabbath? HOW?

    • I think that as Seventh-day Adventists we have been too quick to defend our Sabbath-keeping and often we use language that is legalistic. Further we spend a lot of time using perjorative words to describe Sunday-keepers. Such attitudes have created an unnecessary barrier around the Sabbath in the minds of others.

      If we could only project the blessing of the Sabbath to others, it would have to make others yearn for the Sabbath, not in order to be saved, but because it is an enriching experience.

      I have mentioned in this forum before, the experience I had in a hotel in Florence where our tour groups shared a dining room with an extended Jewish family who were opening the Sabbath. Our tour group of mainly unchurched folk were touched by the excitement and involvement of all the family members. Some in our group made the comment that the Jews made religion appealing!

      If we keep the Sabbath because we are spending time with Jesus, and we make that time something that we can share with others, then we will find the Sabbath both a blessing to ourselves and to those with whom we share it. The Psalmist says, "O taste and see that the Lord in good!" Ps 34:8 and that applies to Sabbath-keeping as much as anything.

    • Felix

      You will note that I said "should not push ... UNTIL..."

      The substance of the post was looking at the comparison with the people Paul refers to in Gal 6, who were pushing change for selfish reasons.

      My point is that the gospel's saving message as shown over and over in the New Testament focuses on Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection. We are saved by His grace through faith in His finished work on the cross.

      You ask, "How can we indwell Christ or change our life without pushing the commandment-keeping?" I reply that we are not saved by the law and commandment-keeping. Their role is to show us our sin. Having shown us our sin, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, work in tandem to deliver us from sin, cleanse us from sin, sanctify us, and then keep us from sinning. 1 Cor 6:11 - "But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God." See also Jude 24.

      As good as the law and commandments may be, they have no role in doing any of that.

      If we keep it all in perspective, we will see that the Bible teaches a progression, sequence and a model for salvation and continued sanctification.

    • Felix, We have traditionally put the identifier ( commandments, Sabbath our form of circumcision) first. God wants us to first reveal Him to those we come in contact with, Micah 6:8' "to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God". First be a friend or helper and show them God's character then the Spirit will help them learn the "way".

    • How are we lost? Is it by transgression of the law?
      How are we saved? Is it by the Grace of God (blood of Jesus)?
      Can we break the law after we are saved from our transgression?
      Then, when we fall again, do we need more of the Grace of God (blood of Jesus)?
      Can the Grace of God keep us from the transgression of His law?

  10. We forget what the pharisees did during the time of Jesus; they only washed the outside part of the cup while inside was in total mess. Some of our SDA followers are just boastful they only keep the sabbath but their actions do not reflect Christ. We should be True ambassadors of Jesus.

  11. I believe that the ten commandments represents All that God is and what He requires of man in an Eternal relationship. Circumcision was Not a part of the ten commandments, but the keeping of the Seventh Day Sabbath predates even the ten commandments. I consider it a terrible error, to treat the keeping of the Seventh Day Sabbath with the same importance and significance of the Limited application of the issue of circumcision. They are Not interchangeable. The Seventh Day Sabbath was kept in the First Week of Creation and Shall be similarly kept in the Earth Made New eternally.

    • Hello Fitz - I don't think anyone would disagree with you there. The circumcision law belonged to the law of Moses (ceremonial, written by Moses on paper) whereas the Sabbath is eternal, (written by the finger of God in stone, twice).
      However, there are many Adventist believers who focus on their Sabbath keeping as the evidence of their salvation, as the Jews did with respect to their cultural and traditional beliefs in circumcision. The message of Paul is so relevant to us today - that is, boast (emphasize) only what the Cross (God's/Christ's love and faithfulness) has done in your life and the rest will fall into place, by the working of the Holy Spirit in our life.
      I have many Christian friends not of my faith, and I tend to focus on the things that unite us but share with them the blessings that come to me from Sabbath keeping, and encourage them to keep their Sabbath likewise. I tend to agree that it is insulting and offensive to other Christians to insist I have all truth, because it devalues their Christian experience and portrays arrogance on my part. My only duty is to share Christ, in word and action, in a non-judgmental way and allow the Holy Spirit to do the rest.
      I have just read (as Maurice Ashton recommends) Acts 21 and 22 but couldn't stop there, reading right through to the end of cp 28. It reminds me that we face the same issues today, many arguing over beliefs that we all hold dear, but see from a different angle. Like Paul, we need to hold dear the knowledge of what was done for us all at the Cross - and boast in that only! God's blessing on all who share here.

  12. The purpose of the Sabbath, as God points out, is to be a sign of His creative power and that He sanctifies His people. To push the Sabbath on those yet to be justified by faith is a wrong course and does not benefit them. This would lead to them focusing on their works and not the merits of Christ, as the means of their "salvation".

    Gospel order is vital, and the Sabbath has no meaning or benefit to those who have yet to find a Savior who bids them "repent and believe the Gospel". Once they make that choice, the Sabbath will then provide a great blessing for all who are seeking to know and do the will of God in their new life of having "received Him...and believe on His name". Their desire will then be to "observe all things" He has commanded, doing it out of supreme love for their Creator/Redeemer/Friend.

    If you've ever seen the cart put before the horse in this matter, you may have seen the unfortunate result. The Sabbath becomes a heavy burden to the unconverted, who have been convicted of their "duty", but void of the love that alone can motivate. In such cases, most abandon the Sabbath and return to their former ways, often hardened against the gospel.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags allowed in your comment: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>