Tuesday, October 23, 2012

We are the Circumcision, Pt. 4


What makes us the circumcision?  We worship God in the spirit; it is a capacity of the inner man.  There is nothing we can do in the flesh; it’s all about him.

Colossians 2:13
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

We gentiles were not only dead in our sins (meaning, our sins separated us from Almighty God), but we didn’t even have the right relationship with God to begin with.  We were dead in the uncircumcision of our flesh.  Even unbelieving Jews were nigh unto God; they were his people.  Isn’t that interesting?

      Colossians 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:

Notice who performs this circumcision – our great physician, the Lord Jesus Christ.  This is not a physical circumcision, but a spiritual circumcision made without hands.  He performs it through the Holy Spirit.  It has to do with putting off the body of the sins of the flesh.  Christ has circumcised our physical flesh from our inner man.  That is why we are dead to sin and we don’t have to serve the flesh.

Romans 6:2
God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Although we still have these bodies of flesh and there is sin in our mortal flesh we don’t have to serve it (Romans 7).  Although we will never be sinless until we get our new bodies, we ought to sin less because it no longer has the same power over us.  Paul explained that to the Jews in the book of Romans.  He had to explain to them what true circumcision was.  He explains how circumcision only avails them if they keep the Law.  But they couldn’t keep the Law!  Even if an uncircumcised gentile kept the Law, wouldn’t he condemn the Jew who has the letter of the Law and circumcision?

Romans 2:28-29
For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly;

The issue is not the outward cutting of the flesh.

 neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

You think you are a Jew?

Romans 2:17
Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,

Here is what a true Jew is:

But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

What did Stephen say to those Jews who had the physical circumcision?

Acts 7:51
Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

They were not just stiff-necked (rebellious) like a donkey, but they didn’t even ‘hear’ God’s word. 

Their hearts were far from God’s word.

Matthew 15:8
This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

When Moses gives Israel the Law for the second time before Joshua takes them into the Promised Land, he tells them what God would have them do.

Deuteronomy 10:16
Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.

God just wanted them to circumcise their hearts and believe him.  Stephen indicts the nation 1,500 years later because they are still ‘stiffnecked and uncircumcised’ in heart and ears. At that condemnation, Stephen made the religious Jews so mad that they stoned him and Saul was right there leading the rebellion.  But God saved Saul by grace and the dispensation of grace began.

Romans 2:29
But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter [of the physical Law]; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

The problem is that all the outward, physical rituals and rites are to please man, not God.  Man looks at the outside, but God looks in the heart.

1 Samuel 9:19
And Samuel answered Saul, and said, I am the seer: go up before me unto the high place; for ye shall eat with me to day, and tomorrow I will let thee go, and will tell thee all that is in thine heart.

Most of the time that Paul talks about circumcision it is in reference to Israel.  The context will determine whether it is a physical or spiritual circumcision.  We are circumcised without hands and baptized by one Spirit into one body.  The Lord Jesus Christ circumcises believers when they trust him.

Romans 15:12
And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.

Hopefully this helps!

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