TRUE CIRCUMCISION

‘For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, ‘  – Philippians 3:3 NKJV

An important aspect of Bible interpretation is the study of types and shadows. While still relevant in its present context, it refers to the representation or depiction of something, someone or an action with a futuristic import.

Throughout the Old Testament, God communicated through types and shadows, speaking in various ways to foreshadow the redemptive work of Christ (Hebrews 1:2). One example is seen in the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. The offerings prefigured the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. The use of white lambs symbolised the spotless Lamb of God who would come to take away the world’s sins (John 1:29).

In the same way, circumcision was a significant symbol pointing to the work of Christ. As the foreskins of males were removed, it signified the destruction of the body of sin in Christ. For the Israelites, circumcision was a visible mark of belonging to God’s covenant people (Genesis 17:9-14). 

Just as the blood of the Passover lamb protected the Israelites from judgement, circumcision symbolised spiritual protection as well. Any male Jew who was not circumcised stood the risk of losing their lives because they were not identified as under the covering (Genesis 17:14). 

Even though the physical circumcision was a representation of the circumcision in Christ, it gave people confidence. David made his boast in it when he stood before Goliath  (1 Samuel 17:26). He could regard Goliath as uncircumcised because he knew that Goliath was not under the covering of the Lord, a reality that comes with circumcision. 

The true significance of circumcision was not in the act itself but in the covenant it represented.  Even those who were marked needed to believe in the covenant, otherwise it meant nothing. Abraham was declared righteous before he was circumcised, showing that righteousness comes through faith, not through any outward rituals (Romans 4:8-12).

In Christ, we see the true meaning of circumcision. The new circumcision details that the body of sin has been removed from us and destroyed (Colossians 2:11-13). The true doctrine of circumcision is that we have received a new life in Christ. His death and resurrection are now our life. Only the Holy Ghost can do the work of Circumcision without hands by removing our stony heart and replacing it with a fleshy heart. 

True circumcision is of the heart, not the flesh or made with hands (Romans 2:29). By the Spirit of God, your old sinful nature has been cut off and you are no longer drawn to sin. God made a covenant with you and gave you His Spirit as a mark of His ownership of you. This should be your boast and confession. Christ is your circumcision!

Bible Reading Plan: Luke 12: 31- 59

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