The Judaizers (legalistic Jews) viewed themselves as set apart to God, and theirphysical circumcision as emblematic of that reality.*But theirs was a false circumcision (katatome).*Katatome - (false circumcision) literally means "mutilation”.The apostles indictment of the Judaizers is shocking.Because it did not reflect a cleansed heart, their circumcision was as meaningless asthe ritual mutilation in pagan religions.In Gal 5:12 Paul expressed that very truth even more forcefully:"I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves."*Apokopto("mutilate") is an even stronger term than katatome.*In its other New Testament uses it is translated "cut off" or "cut away”.In extra-biblical Greek literature, apokopto was also used of castration and that is thesense in which Paul used it in Galatians.The apostles point is that if the Judaizers believed that the mere outward ritual ofcircumcision pleases God, why did they not take that devotion to its ultimate extremeand castrate themselves?Circumcision (or any external ritual or ceremony) is meaningless if it does not reflect atransformed heart.Those who teach otherwise are not praiseworthy religious people doing their best (intheir own flesh) to please God. They are purveyors of demon doctrines (1 Tim 4:1),who hold "to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power" (2 Tim 3:5).We, as believers, are to "avoid such men as these" (2 Tim 3:5).Unlike the katatome (the false circumcision), believers are the peritome, the truecircumcision.*We have an inward spiritual cleansing, not a meaningless outward mark.*Three explicit qualities in verse 3 identify believers as the true circumcision.3)TRUE BELIEVERS WORSHIP IN THE SPIRIT“who worship in the Spirit of God” Philippians 3:3 a*The first quality of a genuine believer is a heart that overflows with worship.*The origin of that worship is supernatural, since the Spirit of God generates it.
Acceptable worship involves adoration and praise to God, and transcends outwardrituals or ceremonies.But worship prompted by culture, tradition, guilt, fear, desire for acceptance andpopularity, or to gain blessings is unacceptable to God.God says:6“For I desire loyalty rather than sacrifice, And the knowledge of God rather thanburnt offerings.” Hosea 6:6The indwelling Holy Spirit prompts true and acceptable worship out of love for theLord.Matthew 22:37-3937“Jesus said unto him, “‘THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART,AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIND.’38 This is the first and great commandment.39 And the second is like unto it, ‘THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THY SELF.’40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”Matthew 22:37-40 KJVMatthew 3:17“a voice came out of the heavens and said, ‘This is My beloved Son, in Whom I amwell pleased’”.*Pleased in for doing what?Since the Holy Spirit only indwells Christians (Rom 8:9), only they can truly worship theSavior.Speaking to a Samaritan woman (John 4:1-26), Jesus clearly defined true andacceptable worship.Shocked by His omniscient exposure of her dissolute life (v16-18), she tried to changethe subject: "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in thismountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought toworship" (v19-20).In response Jesus declared, "Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither inthis mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father" (v. 21).True worship takes place in the heart, not at a sacred location. (the Holy Land)The Lord then revealed a second truth about true worship: "You worship what you donot know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews" (v. 22).
Acceptable worship is based on the truths of salvation revealed in the Scriptures,which were first given to the Jewish people (Rom 3:2).*It is not to be performed according to the whims of the worshipers.*Then Jesus gave the clearest definition of worship in all of Scripture:"But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father inspirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, andthose who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" John 4:23-24.The twice-repeated phrase "in spirit and truth" defines the essence of true worship.God saved believers to worship Him. It is those "true worshipers who worship the Fatherin spirit and truth" that "the Father seeks to be His worshipers."True Christians are those who worship God from the heart in obedience to His Word.In Ps 29:2 David exhorts, "Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name; worship theLord in holy array."Ps 95:6 adds, "Come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord ourMaker.“*(Walk, stand, sit - kneel.)*2 Chronicles 7:14 “If My …”Worship is mankinds highest duty; in the words of the Westminster Shorter Catechism,"Mans chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever."Latreuo (worship) might best be translated "to render respectful spiritual service."True worship goes beyond praising God, singing hymns, or participating in aworship service.The essence of worship is living a life of obedient service to God.(24/7 & 365.25 days per year)"Do not neglect doing good and sharing," exhorts the writer of Hebrews, "for with suchsacrifices God is pleased" (Heb 13:16).True worship involves every aspect of life.*Several characteristics mark true worshipers.*First, they love God.*That is in stark contrast to unbelievers, who hate Him.
In Rom 1:30 Paul describes unbelievers as "haters of God" while in Rom 8:7 the apostlepoints out that "the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God."Christians love for God will never be perfect in this world, but it will always be there.Because true worshipers love God, they find in Him their source of joy and delight.They acknowledge that "the joy of the Lord is their strength" (Neh 8:10).They "sing for joy in the Lord" because they are filled "with the joy of the Holy Spirit".Like the psalmist, they find in "God their exceeding joy" (Ps 43:4).True worshipers "delight to revere His name" (Neh 1:11), and heed Davids exhortation,"Delight yourself in the Lord" (Ps 37:4).The contemplation of Gods glory and majesty, and what He has done in our lives, isour supreme joy and delight.True worshipers also have a confident trust in God that produces peace.That peace is based not on our circumstances, but on our relationship with God.