“The SIGN of the covenant…”
Day 9 (Genesis 17)
Abram, as part of his covenant with God, was commanded to circumcise his foreskin:
10 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; 11 and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. 12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant. 13 He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”
Some may ask, “Why did God ask Abraham to do it?” The immediate reason was that every covenant contained a clause concerning the witness to the covenant. A witness was a perpetual reminder that the covenant existed. For example, the covenant between Jacob and Laban was witnessed by a stone marker (Genesis 31:46-48). God’s covenant with Noah and the world was witnessed by the rainbow (Genesis 9:12-16). In Abraham’s case, God asked that he and all his male descendants who entered into the covenant carry the reminder of the covenant in their own flesh.
Circumcision was done on the outward flesh, but it represented the acceptance of the covenant in the mind, including the willingness to obey the laws within the covenant.
When God told Israel, “Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer.” (Deuteronomy 10:16), it meant that they were removing their stubborn sinful thoughts from their minds. In other words, they were to remove sin from their lives and become obedient to the principles of God.
“And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:6).
While circumcision served as a permanent reminder to God’s people that they needed to obey God’s laws, the fact that someone was circumcised did not mean he actually kept the law.
“For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.” (Romans 2:25).
Therefore to God, the physical act of circumcision was not nearly as important as the actual obedience that He required.
Circumcising the foreskin is not a part of God’s covenant with Christians.
“Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters.” (I Corinthians 7:18-19).
However, Christians still have an act that represents circumcision, a witness to the acceptance of God’s covenant. Since the emphasis is placed on the removal of sin from a person’s life, this equivalent act to circumcision represents the removal of sin.
“In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:11-12).
Baptism in water represents the removal of sin from a person’s life, the burial of the old nature. Paul said once: “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptised into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin.” (Romans 6:3-7).
Unfortunately, many people claim that baptism in water is not important. It would be equivalent to an Israelite claiming that circumcision was not important.
Refusal to accept baptism is a refusal to accept the covenant of Christ, just as an uncircumcised descendant of Abraham was a covenant breaker. You cannot claim to be under the covenant of Christ unless you are willing to take on the witness to that covenant.
If you have been asking God: “What do you want from me? I’m willing to do what Abraham did, I’m willing to obey you in everything as he did! He is showing you right now one more step He’d like you to take in order for Him to do something GREAT in your life! Look to Abraham again! Do you want to have the life Abraham had? Do what Abraham did! Decide right now to abandon your sinful habits, stop leaving for later what you must do today!
We’ll have BAPTISM IN WATER on July 31 at 1:30pm, It’s your ALL for God’s ALL!
Speak to an assistant in the Church to confirm your presence.
Here is our address in Hong Kong:
8th Floor – Trade Square Building
681 Cheung Sha Wan Road
Cheung Sha Wan
Kowloon – Hong Kong
Every night at 10pm (Hong Kong), join our radio program as we’ll be making a prayer of agreement with all those who have embarked in this journey!
Click this link to connect: http://mixlr.com/uckg-hong-kong-official
Campaign of Israel at the Temple of Solomon – July 17