Following Religious rituals neither saves you nor damn you

Two thousand years ago, when the Apostle Paul wrote letters to the new gentile churches, he had to address a particularly controversial debate: should new believers become circumcised. Those who had been saved out of the Jewish religion were mostly already circumcised, while Gentiles generally were not. The Apostle Paul answers the question with a no: do NOT try to change your status. If you are not circumcised, do not become circumcised. Likewise, if you are circumcised and following in the Jewish traditions, you do not need to abandon all of them in order to be saved:

 Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. 18 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts. 20 Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them. (I Corinthians 7:16-20 NIV)

The important things to Christians are love, forgiveness, repentance, atonement for sins through Christ’s death on a cross. These things are what we need to be constantly focused on. We should not be overly worried, though, about ritual: mode of baptism, circumcision, head coverings, etc. These things may all be valuable in teaching us some lesson or the other, but they do not save us. We must each follow our conscience and seek to obey God the best we can in regards to rituals, but we do not put our faith in them. We know that true believers in Jesus Christ are a diverse lot. Some of God’s saints have been immersed as adults, some have been baptized as infants. Some have been circumcised for ritualistic or medical reasons, some have not. Some sisters in Christ wear head coverings, some do not. We need to be gracious to each other in regard to these things, and not expect that every one adopts the same stance as ourselves on all this issues. I am not saying that they do not matter at all, but they certainly do not matter most of all. The thing that matters the most is salvation by grace through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Let us not get sidetracked by mere rituals and teaching tools.

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This entry was posted in Blogging, Christianity, church, Culture, Faith, God, Other, Personal, Random, Random Thoughts, rants. Bookmark the permalink.

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