What the Covenant of Circumcision Means to Christians:

Circumcision was part of the ceremonial law that the LORD God gave to the children of Israel. It was through the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ that made atonement for our sins; this made the ceremonial law obsolete.  Genesis 17:10 27; Galatians 3:26-29

Genesis 17:10 is the first to speak about the Covenant of Circumcision.: “This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised.”

This covenant started with Abraham the flesh of the male foreskin was the token of the covenant between the LORD God and the people of Abraham. Eight day old boys shall be circumcised, every man child in the generations of Abraham, those that are born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of his seed. This was to be an everlasting covenant.

Genesis 17:14 gives a warning: “And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.”

Exodus 4:24-26 When Moses was chosen to lead the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt and out of bondage he had to have his son circumcised. Then again when Moses had brought the people out of bondage that the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, that this would be the ordinance of the Passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof; but every man’s servant that is bought for money, when they had been circumcised, then he shall eat thereof. Then a stranger shall dwell among them or remain and inhabit with them and keep the Passover to the LORD all his males shall be circumcised. No uncircumcised person shall eat of the Passover. (Exodus 12:42-48).

The first century churches there were certain Jews who started returning to the ceremonial law of circumcision as a requirement for salvation. Paul corrected them by saying, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.  Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.  For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.  Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.  For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.  For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” Galatians 5:1-11 tells us we are to stand fast in the liberty. Liberty means to do or to omit things having no relationship to salvation.

Circumcision was part of the ceremonial law that the LORD God gave to the children of Israel. It was through the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ that made atonement for our sins; this made the ceremonial law obsolete.

When we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, the desires of our heart change and we begin to follow the Lord Jesus Christ rather than follow the sinful desires of our own flesh. This change in our heart is called “the circumcision of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of the LORD God.” (Romans 2:29).

Romans 3:1-10 reminds us that there is no profit for the Jews in circumcision. There is none, no not one that is righteous. Both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin. It is important to remember that circumcision has absolutely nothing to do with your salvation. It is one of many Old Testament requirements that ended the moment that Jesus Christ died for our sins. Circumcision had to do with the Old Testament relationship between God and the Jews. Our salvation depends on our faith and our relationship with Jesus Christ.

Christians are no longer under the Old Testament Law and circumcision is no longer required. Acts 15 gives us the explanation that because we were given the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that the LORD God knows our hearts and believes in Him we were given the Holy Ghost to us. Our hearts has been purified in our heart by faith. We know that it is by grace of the Lord Jesus Christ that we are saved. (Acts 15:1-11).

Colossians 2:11-12 is a great reminder that the circumcision that is made without hands, in Jesus in baptism, wherein also we are risen with Jesus through the faith of the workings of the LORD God, who has raised Jesus from the dead.

Galatians 3:26-29: “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

Once a believer has received the Holy Spirit they become “in Christ”, there is no longer any importance to a person’s sex, race or even in the social status. We are all believers in Christ and are sons of the LORD God and heirs.

Cite Article Source

MLA Style Citation:

Holstein, Joanne “What the Covenant of Circumcision Means to Christians:.” Becker Bible Studies Library Apr 2015.<https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=2803,>.

APA Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne (2015, April) “What the Covenant of Circumcision Means to Christians:.” Becker Bible Studies Library. Retrieved from https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=2803,.

Chicago Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne (2015) “What the Covenant of Circumcision Means to Christians:.” Becker Bible Studies Library (April), https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=2803,).

Joanne Holstein is a Becker Bible Studies Teacher and Author of Guided Bible Studies for Hungry Christians. She is a graduate of Psychology/Christian and Bible Counseling with Liberty University. She is well-known as a counselor to Christian faithful who are struggling with tremendous burden in these difficult times. She is a leading authority on historical development of Christian churches and the practices and beliefs of world religions and cults.

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