One can never replace the internal reality of the love of God shed abroad in one’s heart with the outward rituals of religion. In the book of Galatians, Paul made a big issue of this.
In Galatia there were Judean people who accepted Christ, but mixed Judean rituals with their acceptance to help avoid criticism of other Judeans who could not accept the spiritual accomplishment and grace of the cross. Getting new believers to undergo circumcision was a feather in their cap and made them look good in the eyes of other law-abiding Judeans.
Galatians 6:12-13 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory (boast) in your flesh.
Circumcision was an outward show of religion (religion can hurt!) and in Judaism, the most pious was treated with esteem and honor. It was a false glorying, however, just as today the outward appearances and worldly boasts of education, wealth, status, position, respect, honor and titles mean nothing. The more we look into the Word of God, the more we can see though the setups of the world that try to trap us into slavery and work to distract us from looking to God for answers. That is why Paul said the world was crucified unto him and he to the world.
Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory( boast), save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
Paul had a lot of worldly credentials to boast about, but he saw right through the meaning of outward honors and said later that he bore the impress of the Lord Jesus Christ and what the cross of Christ meant. It meant he was a new creation. No one could bother him anymore because he knew Jesus Christ. That as his claim to peace.
The same thing is true today in our world, maybe not with the push for circumcision, but with other outward religious practices. True godliness comes from a vital, energized relationship with God. Godliness is about our inner life that radiates out through everything despite what’s going on.
No one person has mastered all the truth of God, we are constantly learning. Truly enjoyable fellowship occurs with people who honestly continue to seek God’s answers and have true humility based on the grace of God. When Jesus Christ said “where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst” (Matthew 18: 20) he meant something more than just a meeting, he was talking about a spiritual reality. Two or three people could sit in Starbucks talking about the Bible and it may just be like talking about the latest novel. When two or three get together in the name of Christ, it is different. It celebrates God and that is what Jesus Christ is all about.