by Rev Joel Yong
From now on, don’t make any trouble for me! After all, I carry the scars of Jesus on my body.
The Judaizers were asking the believers to get circumcised- so that by those physical marks they would gain acceptance. The mark of circumcision was their badge of identity.
Paul instead references the physical marks on his body- scars received because he suffered beatings for preaching Christ – as his sign of acceptance by God as His messenger.
Paul had actual fruit from his ministry.
He preached and people were converted.
He taught about Jesus and authorities tried to stop him from doing so.
He pressed on and did not give up when the going was tough.
As Paul wrote-
Certainly, it doesn’t matter whether a person is circumcised or not. Rather, what matters is being a new creation.
The mark of genuine followership of Jesus is proved by the transformation one has undergone by yielding his life to God. Not about mere talk and boasts.
Paul had a transformed life.
He went from being a persecutor of the Christians, and became a vocal advocate.
He went from being a self-righteous man, and became one who trusted only in Christ’s righteousness.
From a murderer watching the coats of those who stoned Stephen, he became a minister of Jesus.
Our identity is not proven merely by the cross pendant we wear on our necks.
It is proven by the change in our lives and what we do.
We are not merely a people who go to church.
No we are a people who have become the Church.