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Friday, September 4, 2009

Biblical Circumcision

The Bible mentions circumcision many times in both the Old and New Testaments. One of my favorite Bible Verses mentions this word, and I've prayed this verse back to God for years now, and I have never really understood what I was praying-nor thought until now to search it out.

Deu 30:6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.


God established this as a symbol of consecration to Himself. It was the cutting off of excess flesh.
(Rom_13:14) God commanded Abraham at 99 to do this, and all the males in his camp, including 13 year old Ishmael was circumcised. This had to hurt badly at their mature ages. To purposely inflict that kind of pain on one's self to obey God speaks of great love and devotion. It also speaks volumes about Abraham's confidence in God as opposed to confidence in himself when he did this. The extra flesh was cut off as a sign of consecration and dependence on God. The Bible also mentions uncircumcised ears, lips, and hearts. It was a sign of purity, of cleanness. (Isa_52:1)

We have to undergo a spiritual circumcision, and it is a very painful process. I am learning this in my walk with the Lord. This is a process where our hearts are circumcised. It's called sanctification. It's where we are separated from the unclean, and truly consecrated to God, where spiritual impurities are removed, and corrupt desires rooted in our human natures become extinct as we die to self and deny their expression. We need the Holy Ghost to take us through this process, to work this out in us. He will show us how any confidence in our own selves will lead to failure. He will show us things hidden in our hearts that will horrify us for we do not know they are there on a conscious level. Because we truly love and desire to serve God, because we long for holiness and purity, to be like the Lord, when we see these things and come to the full realization that there truly is nothing good in us except Him, it is a painful thing to face. He shows us this progressively-not all at once. We could not bear it. If we are not careful it will cause us to despair. We must keep looking to Jesus for HE alone is the Author and Finisher of our faith.

For Paul to say "He is a Jew which is one inwardly and circumcision of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter" (Rom_2:29) meant someone who was not depending on their own merit or righteousness, but Jesus Christ, who has been made our righteousness, and who has had their heart purified, a spiritual, not carnal Christian. This is a work of the Spirit-not flesh. When God ordained the Passover, on the eve of the exodus from Egypt, He told Moses that when a stranger traveled with the people, and would keep the passover to the Lord, he had to be circumcised and all his males. No uncircumcised person shall eat the passover. (Exo_12:48) What does that mean to the New Testament church? Our Passover is the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. He was the Word of God made flesh. "Except you eat My flesh (My Word) and drink My blood, (My Holy Spirit) you have no life in you." Joh_6:53.

He is the Light of God and has no fellowship with darkness. And no person who is trusting in their own righteousness, confident in their own ability, and not separating themselves from the unclean can eat this Word of God, which is the Word of Life. The natural man receiveth not the things of God-to him it is foolishness. They cannot accept or absorb the truths of God. They cannot be partakers at the Lord's table of fellowship lest they be born again and determine to allow the Word and Spirit of God to separate them from that which is unclean and rooted in self-dependency. I'm learning Biblical circumcision then is refusing to be confident in our ability, but rather seeking and trusting God's ability-which is His Holy Spirit, and being wary of ourselves knowing that no flesh can glory in His presence or accomplish His will. It also means purifying or perfecting something-such as our hearts, our vision, our hearing, our speech. The fear of the Lord keeps wise men from doing evil. Love for Him restrains us from doing evil. But His power and His life in us is what makes us holy. To have His life we must reject all this born of self, and natural human strength. I have failed myself, but He never has. Glory to God!

2 comments:

Ron said...

The new testament makes plain that physical circumcision is not part of Christianity.

The Catholic Church even forbids it (since 1442) although Catholics in the US and Philippines ignore this.

Kathleen said...

This concerned SPIRITUAL circumcision of the heart, not physical circumcision. The Old Testament is physical types of spiritual truths put forth in the New Testament.