Posted by: biblestudyseattle | July 9, 2012


Genesis 17:  “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.  Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.  Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you:   You will be the father of many nations.  No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.  Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant   between me and you. For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised.  My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”

Later, circumcision was expanded to include all people.  “To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.  Yet the Lord set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today.  Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer.”  Deuteronomy 10

Circumcision became a stumbling block in the faith of many in the apostles’ day.  The Judaizers were teaching that a person must become a Jew and keep the Law of Moses in order to become a Christian.  Paul strongly denounced this teaching:  “For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group.  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

Some take this verse out of context:  “Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised,   Christ will be of no value to you at all.”  Is Paul telling Christians not to be circumcised?  No!  He’s saying that justification cannot be achieved through circumcision.  No one can be justified by observing the law as none are perfect.

Why would God command the Jews to do something that is harmful for Christians?  He doesn’t.  Circumcision is medically advantageous, but it will not get you into heaven.  There are many groups in our day trying to prove that circumcision is medically detrimental.  They publish studies supposedly showing this.  What are their motives?  I suspect Satan is behind this.  He opposes all that God proposes.

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