For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the ceremony of circumcision. No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by God’s Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.- Romans 2:28-29 NLT
Rituals like ‘circumcision’ and ‘Baptism’ are shadows, symbols that represent things to come. They are actions that metaphorically have Spiritual meaning, they “represent” something bigger, something real. The RITUAL without the REALITY is nothing more than an ACT that is NOT pleasing to GOD and has no eternal value. The ACT doesn’t change the man. It is the changed HEART that changes the man and that pleases our God! This is the heart of religion, man attempting to be good enough for God. So if he does these rituals, if he checks these boxes, then he has done his deed and now God will deem him acceptable.
Leader, God is looking for changed hearts, hearts that break for what breaks HIS HEART! When Jesus walked, incarnate, He said it is about your heart: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28) As flawed as King David was, His overriding saving GRACE was that HIS HEART was after God! In the removal of Saul as King, Saul was told, “the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart”. And in David God found a man whose heart desired to be close to God. And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will. (Acts 13:22)
Conduit, Baptism is a ritual that shows that you died to your old flesh, that a new you has risen with Christ. The old has washed away and everything is new. This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Cor 5:17) Circumcision is about crucifying the flesh. The ‘OLD MAN’ is killed off, we no longer live after the FLESH, we now live for the SPIRITUAL blessings and connection to ABBA Daddy, God the Father. Both are MERE RITUALS and by themselves have nothing to do with Salvation by GRACE alone, through FAITH alone, in CHRIST alone. Without the change of heart, the ritual is meaningless. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Change of HEART= change of SPIRIT