Why circumcision? What does it really mean?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Gup20, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. Gup20

    Gup20
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    Have you ever wondered why God would implement genital mutilation as a covenant? What is the purpose for it?

    If you look in Genesis, when that covenant was implemented, it was directly associated with the covenant of faith - Abraham having just been made righteous by his faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ (Gal 3, Rom 4).

    Gen 17:7 "I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you.
    10 "This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised.
    11 "And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you.

    Gal 3:6 Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.
    7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.
    8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU."
    9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.

    Rom 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
    Rom 4:9 [Cometh] this blessedness then upon the circumcision [only], or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.
    10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
    11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which [he had yet] being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:​

    So I had come to accept these truths. That Abraham was the first believer, and the first saved by grace through faith in the gosepl of Jesus Christ. That God made a covenant with him as an everlasting covenant that his (spiritual) children (those who had the same faith as Abraham) would inherit the promise of righteousness by faith (Genesis 15-17).

    But then I read:

    Col 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

    Rom 2:29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

    Rom 7:22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man,
    23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.
    24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?
    25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

    Rom 8:10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.​

    Suddenly I realized that circumcision was implemented as a sign of the righteousness of faith that Abraham had. It dawned on me that circumcision is a perfect physical picture of salvation. We have a living spirit inner man surrounded by dead, condemned flesh. Like circumcision, we too will one day shed this shell and proceed on in newness of life.

    Gal 5:1-6, Gal 6:15, and Phl 3:2 show that for the Christian circumcision means nothing in and of itself. It is unnecessary for salvation. But for me, this was a revelation of what The Law really is. It is a tutor. An instructor. A teacher. God used physical laws to deliver spiritual messages because we are spiritually dead and can't receive those spiritual messages.

    It is no coincidence that God saves Abraham (makes him righteous) by his faith, and then immediately implements circumcision. It is a representation of the new life of the believer. It is a shadow of things to come. I've started looking at the law in this way. I've started to look - not at the do's and don'ts so much as what the law illustrates or represents to us spiritually. I think this is what Paul means when he says,

    Rom 7:6 But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. ​
     
  2. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    You got it guppy except for one important detail. Abraham was not the "first" to be saved by grace through faith. He is merely the first set apart by God to be the EXAMPLE of such. Noah found "grace in the eyes of the Lord" long before he was "saved by water" pictorially of the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    Remember to be a Christian is to be a follower of "Christ" and "Christ" is merely the Greek term for the Hebrew term translated "Messiah" or "Annointed one" of which all saints in the Old Testament were believers in the coming "Messiah" and therefore were "Christians" by faith looking forward to the cross as we look back by faith. - Acts 10:43; 26:22-23; heb. 4:2; etc.
     
  3. Gup20

    Gup20
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    I see what you mean. "saved" is perhaps too generic a term. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say "first made righteous by his faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ." At any rate, he is the one whom God made the covenant with whereby we may inherit eternal life through Christ.

    Rom 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which [he had yet] being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

    Rom 4:17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, [even] God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

    Gal 3:7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.

    Jhn 8:39 "Abraham is our father," they answered. "If you were Abraham's children," said Jesus, "then you would do what Abraham did.

    Jhn 8:56 "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad."​
     
  4. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    :thumbs::thumbs:
    :thumbs::thumbs: Sounds good to me!
     

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