Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Many have experienced “going under the knife” - removing something causing pain or worse. As a redhead, I’ve had several skin cancers cut from my face. Now they’re gone. However, if I want to keep them away, I need to change some of my behavior - like putting on sunscreen.

In God’s Word, we hear about divine surgery God does to His people. “Circumcision” wasn’t done to remove a harmful growth … rather God commanded it to mark His chosen people as His own. But, like surgery, the circumcision, a visible reminder of God’s grace, also led to action to remain God’s child. Being circumcised wasn’t an end … rather, it was the beginning of a lifelong commitment to living in thanks to God for His grace, as a child of God, by fearing, loving, and trusting Him in all things … over and above all things.

Paul tells us, “In (Christ) also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ.” (Colossians 2:11) Today, we’re still circumcised, however, it’s not a visible, physical circumcision. Rather, we’re spiritually circumcised in our baptisms. The deadly disease called “sin” is rendered helpless against us through faith in Christ. We are “dead in our sins” but through Jesus’ sacrifice we’re made alive again, “having forgiven us all our sins.” (Colossians 2:13)

This spiritual circumcision gives us more than faith in Jesus and forgiveness of sin. Like a surgeon removes deadly cancer, God performs divine surgery, through the Holy Spirit, to cleanse us from sin and its effects. Then, compelled by the Spirit, we begin to allow God’s Word to guide and direct us more completely in His will … while our desire to sin shrinks. Through this process, called “sanctification,” the Spirit gradually makes us more holy children of God. The cancer of sin is removed through divine surgery and new life takes hold allowing us to use our time, talent, and treasure - gifts from God - just as He intended.

                                                                                    In Christ,

                                                                                    Pastor Jim