Circumcision was practiced as a ritual indicating, “I am part of God’s chosen family on earth, having the evil cut out of me.”
THE LAWLESS RESPONSE TO GOD'S LAW
The lawless person hates the law of God. The story the lawless person tells himself is that “No one tells me what to do.” It is an outright rejection of the Father. God’s law was intended, like a mirror, to reveal their rebellion, as they gazed into it, so that the lawless person could repent. It’s meant to condemn us, so that grace can save us.
THE LEGALIST RESPONSE TO GOD'S LAW
The legalist person manipulates the law of God. The story the legalist tells himself is that he is essentially good and able to keep God’s commandments. For the legalist, the law—designed to be a mirror— is instead turned upside down so that he can no longer see the reflection of his ungodliness in it. Ironically, the legalist then builds a monument to his own goodness out of the mirror that’s meant to condemn.
THE LIBERTARIAN RESPONSE TO GOD'S LAW
The libertarian simply throws the mirror away. The story the libertarian tells himself is “God’s grace has come to me, and it’s amazing that he loves me unconditionally. God can’t love me any more or any less than he does right now. So, it doesn’t really matter how I live, I’m free in Christ.” This was certainly not Paul’s understanding.
THE LOVE RESPONSE TO GOD'S LAW
Love is the response God has always desired, which is why David could write, even under the old covenant, “I run in the path of your commandments, for you have set my heart free.” Ps. 119:32