The outward regulations we strive to do to please God is not the primary focus of God. When we come to Christ, the primary concern is faith and not the requirements of the law. All the outward regulations have never sufficed to please God. Not even the circumcision of the chosen people have made a spiritual impact. When we approach Jesus Christ and the grace He offers to us with human reason, we will not be able to fully comprehend everything. When we also approach Jesus Christ with the notion of religiously following the regulations, we also missed the mark of what He is really telling us. “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.” – Galatians 5:6. There is a deeper implication to this statement which says that neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything in Jesus Christ. The circumcision is a physical mark of Israel that sets them apart from the rest and which marks them as God’s people. However, this causes division. Sort of “the clean and the unclean”. But in Jesus Christ there is no more division. This outward marking does not count. What more? The regulations we do to please God and make us right with God, do not count for anything anymore. Ever since it is clear and quite obvious how deceitful the human heart is. “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” – Matthew 15:8-9. Jesus made it clear that even when we outwardly show faithfulness by doing righteous works, it does not please Him if our hearts are far from Him. It means that we are capable of doing righteous acts even when we do not actually and truly obey God. So God says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”” – Jeremiah 17:9-10. What God requires is sincere obedience to Him through faith in Jesus Christ.
It is all by faith working through love. “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” – Hebrews 11:6. We cannot come to God thinking we are smarter than Him or that we are self-sufficient. Faith strips us of these selfish coverings in us. When we come to Jesus in faith, we just have to believe and trust that what He says is true and that it will all come to pass. That is faith. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” -Hebrews 11:1. Faith that works its way through love is what pleases God. If we have this faith that works through love, our heart abides in God. All the things we desire to do, plan to do, and are doing can be a pleasing offering to God. We do not anymore do the outward regulations to please God, because we know that in Jesus we are already made right with God. We obey the Lord because of the rightness of heart and mind brought by Jesus saving works for us. We obey the Lord because this is what our heart cries out. We obey the Lord because it is what the Spirit working with our spirit convicts us to do. It is not a mere regulation and outward show of how good we are and how much righteousness we have. That is why it says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9.