Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Weekly Devotion: Circumcision

“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: And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.” Romans 4:11, 12

The word “circumcision” is a compound word; derived from the two words “circle” and “incision”, which means “to cut around”. As the verses above show, this physical operation was an outward manifestation of an inward faith much like water baptism is today. Abraham, the first Jew, was given this “seal” inwardly before he was circumcised outwardly. Today, believers are commanded to be baptized, to show the world that they have been born-again into God’s family! In the Old Testament, all Jews were commanded to circumcise their males, eight days after their birth, as a “covenant” to show the world that they were God’s people.

“And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs.” Acts 7:8

God uses this surgical term, “circumcision” because he performs a spiritual “operation” inside the heart of every person who comes to him by faith, just like Abraham. This spiritual “circumcision of Christ”, “made without hands”, is performed by the great “physician” (Luke 4:23) himself.

“And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 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: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” Colossians 2:10-12

Think about what happens when a babe is circumcised; a physician takes a scalpel and carefully cuts away the excess flesh that causes uncleanness, and removes it away from the potentially life-producing organ of a male. This “operation” has other attendants assisting, co-laborers with the physician. Now think what happens when someone gets spiritually “circumcised”. The great “physician” takes the two-edged sword (“the word of God” – Hebrews 4:12) and pierces their heart and carefully cuts away and removes their unclean flesh, i.e. forgiveness of sins. This “operation” also usually occurs with other attendants assisting, i.e. Christian ministers’. One of the saddest passages in scripture, describing what happens to the “uncircumcised”, is Ezekiel 32:17-32. It says, “they lie uncircumcised, slain by the sword… gone down uncircumcised into the nether parts of the earth… yet have they borne their shame with them that go down to the pit… the mighty that are fallen of the uncircumcised, which are gone down to hell…” This passage and many others clearly describe the enemies of God as being “uncircumcised” and that their destination is “hell”. Friend, don’t be “slain by the sword” in the after life; be healed by it in this one. Although “circumcision” is painful, it is necessary for you to “live”, let me know if I can introduce you to the great physician and assist in your operation.

“And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart… that thou mayest live.” Deu. 30:6

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