The Circumcised Saint

The Circumcised Saint I. circumcise: trans. To cut off the foreskin or prepuce of (males); chiefly as a religious rite of Jews and Muslims. Also in Surgery. II. Here are some observations from Scripture about fleshly circumcision: A. It hurts. GEN 34:25. B. It is bloody. EXO 4:25-26. C. It mutilates a natural state, doesn’t grow back like a fingernail, but continues genetically. 1. There are spiritual implications to these facts. 2. Circumcision, like ineffectual animal sacrifices, had to be continued in subsequent generations. Such operations did not alter man’s nature or put an end to sin. c/w HEB 10:1-4. D. It is by the will of man: another or self. GEN 17:10-11. E. It was a required token of covenant from God. GEN 17:12-14. F. It was an inferior token that conferred no righteousness. ROM 4:9-11. 1. There were righteous men before Abraham. HEB 11:4-7. 2. They also had the superior proof/token of righteousness: faith. G. It was required for approach and service to God. EZE 44:7. H. It was only of value to God when done to the living. 1SAM 18:25-27. I. It was not a substitute for obedience. ROM 2:25-26. J. It avails nothing for justification. GAL 5:6. K. It has no bearing on church membership. 1CO 7:18-19. L. It was not typical of N.T. baptism. 1. If that was true, the apostles and elders were negligent to make such an argument against compulsory circumcision in ACT 15:5-11. 2. Abraham circumcised his entire household, including servants (GEN 17:12-13). Would this imply compelled baptism of non-family members? 3. Circumcision was not uniquely performed by a priest/minister, so should the rite of baptism be performed by anyone? 4. Circumcision was performed without regard to evidence of spiritual birth but baptism requires the evidences of spiritual birth: faith and repentance. ACT 2:38-41. III. Circumcision was typical of the cutting off of Jesus Christ for our sin. COL 2:11 c/w ISA 53:8. A. This speaks of our legal salvation in Christ our Representative Who fulfilled God’s law for us: “...IN whom also ye are circumcised...,” not “...BY whom...” B. Christ was made a curse for us (GAL 3:13) and experienced the censure of PSA 37:22. C. Christ was not only cut off from the land of the living, He was cut off from the Father for our sakes. MAR 15:34. D. Our sins were, like a foreskin, cut off by His cutting off. Also, like a circumcised and discarded foreskin, our sins do not reattach unto our condemnation. HEB 1:3; HEB 9:26-28; ROM 8:33-34. IV. The true circumcision is inward and spiritual. ROM 2:28-29. A. There is an operation of God on the inward man which alters the nature while showing mercy. JER 31:33-34; EZE 11:19-20 c/w EPH 2:10. B. Ishmael and Isaac were both physically circumcised but only Isaac had this operation. GAL 4:28-29. The Circumcised Saint 8-6-23 Page 1 of 2 C. This spiritual circumcision fits man for spiritual worship and for proper worship upon conversion. JOH 3:6-8; 4:23-24; ACT 10:1-2; 16:14; PHIL 3:2-3. D. This spiritual circumcision is known by its proofs: faith, repentance, good works. 1. The spiritually abundant life (JOH 10:10) springs from a renewed heart since faith and duty must be in and from the heart. ACT 8:37; ROM 6:17. 2. The fleshly errors of our old natural man are figurative foreskins that need to be cut away by faithful submission to the gospel. The flesh lusts against the Spirit to hinder us. GAL 5:17. 3. This accords with texts which command men to circumcise themselves spiritually. DEU 10:16; JER 4:4 c/w JAM 4:8. V. The principle of circumcision is applied figuratively in other ways. A. Those who have no delight in God’s word have uncircumcised ears, a condition which implies spiritual deafness or death. JER 6:10; ACT 7:51, 57. 1. What good can be said of those who would rather hear lies than the LORD? ISA 30:9-10 c/w 2TI 4:3-4. 2. We need to circumcise our ears from evil communications lest we be corrupted. 1CO 15:33 c/w PRO 19:27. B. Uncircumcised lips implied a perception of being ill-equipped to speak on God's behalf in Moses' case. EXO 6:30. 1. Moses’ perception of inadequacy didn’t excuse his duty (EXO 7:1-2) and let this be a lesson to us. 1PE 3:15. 2. Infirmity may not be an impediment for witness or preaching but wickedness is another story. PSA 50:16-17; 51:12-13; ROM 2:17-24. 3. We should circumcise our lips’ foreskins such as lying, blasphemy, filthy communication. EPH 4:25; COL 3:8-9. VI. Fleshly circumcision could guarantee a man no more than an earthly altar and temple where the blood of animals never took away sin. HEB 10:4, 11. A. Spiritual circumcision IN Christ did take away sin. COL 2:11. B. Spiritual circumcision BY Christ gives us a renewed heart and nature, life, sonship and a good resurrection. ROM 8:9-17. C. Spiritual circumcision by faith, repentance and good works gives us assurance of His work within us. PHIL 2:12-13. D. Spiritual circumcision guarantees men and women alike a heavenly altar and temple. GAL 3:28-29. The Circumcised Saint 8-6-23 Page 2 of 2

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