For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
I. SPIRITUAL WORSHIP. There must be present worship. The rite of circumcision was administered once for all, and as an external badge this was sufficient. But true religion is a matter of daily life. A circumcised Jew who lived in sin was no true Jew; a baptized Christian may behave like a man of the world, in which case his baptism counts for nothing. The heart and soul of religion is personal devotion, daily worship.
2. This worship must be an inspiration of the Spirit of God. All worship requires some support. The formal worship of the Jew rested on ceremonies. When these were absent the worship perished. The Christian rests upon the influences of the Spirit, and where this is there is Divine life.
II. CHRISTIAN ENTHUSIASM. The expression "glory in Christ Jesus," points to this.
1. The secret of the deepest religious life is personal devotion to Christ. Jesus at once demands adoration by His Spiritual greatness, and wins affection by His human sympathy.
2. This devotion is inspired by joyous enthusiasm. The Jew gloried in Abraham, but a greater than Abraham is here.
III. FREEDOM FROM SUPERSTITION. For us, like Paul (see sequel),to cast off all confidence in privileged birth in a Christian home, membership in a historic Church, observance of venerable rites, and to trust wholly in spiritual religion, is a confirming sign of Divine sonship better than any rite such as circumcision.
(W. F. Adeney, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.