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: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. (Col 2:11,12)
The circumcision represents the covenant between God and His people. In the Old Covenant, every male child, who belonged to God’s people, was circumcised on the eighth day in the foreskin of his flesh. When the Old Covenant was replaced by the New Covenant, the Old Covenant became decayed and obsolete (Heb 8:13). Therefore the circumcision in the flesh on the eighth day was no longer needed. The circumcision in the flesh, was replaced by the circumcision in the spirit: the circumcision in Jesus Christ. But what does the circumcision in Jesus Christ mean?
The circumcision in the Old Covenant
This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 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. (Gen 17:10-14)
God had established His covenant with Abraham. The token of this covenant was the circumcision of the flesh in the foreskin. Every male child, who belonged to God’s people; His assembly, had to be circumcised on the eighth day.
The covenant was maintained by keeping the circumcision
The covenant of God was maintained by keeping the circumcision. Everyone, who was circumcised was set apart by God, from the pagan people, and belonged to Him. They were His people and therefore they would gain all the privileges of the Jewish citizenship, which contained the protection and provisions of God.
God would protect His people and provide for His people. While God’s people would keep His commandments and His statues and live according to His will. These were the conditions.
Slaves and strangers were circumcised in the flesh
But not only the male childs, from the seed of Abraham, were circumcised on the eighth day. Also the male slaves (Gen 17:12, 13) and strangers (Ex 12:48), had to be circumcised. They were circumcised, so that they would be part of the covenant and could enjoy the privileges of the Jewish citizenship.
When a male child was not circumcised, he didn’t belong to God’s people, and wasn’t under His protection. We see this in the life of Moses. When he was on his way, with his wife and son, the Lord tried to kill his son. As soon as the son of Moses was circumcised, the Lord left him alone.
And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the Lord met him, and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.(Ex 4:24-25)
The circumcision neglected
There was a time, when the circumcision was being neglected, namely when God’s people were wandering in the wilderness. All the male childs, who were born in the wilderness were not circumcised. When Joshua and the people of God, were in Gilgal, God commanded Joshua to restore the circumcision. From that moment on, all the males, were circumcised again (Jos 5:2-9)
The circumcision symbolised cleanness
The circumcision was a token of the covenant between God and His people, and symbolised cleanness, and holiness. It symbolised the putting away of sins (disobedience to God) and living in obedience to God’s commandments.
The law of God represents, nothing more than, God’s will (read also: ’What is the secret of the law?’)
By being circumcised, someone was declared clean and pure, and belonged to God’s holy people. The circumcision was a proof of membership of the assembly of God (the church).
For henceforth there shall no more come into thee (Jerusalem) the uncircumcised and the unclean (Isaiah 52:1)
And there shall in no wise enter into it (Jerusalem) any thing that defiles, neither whatsoever works abomination, or makes a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s Book of life (Rev 21:27)
The New Covenant
The circumcision in the flesh was a token and ritual of the Old Covenant, between God and His people. This circumcision showed that they belonged to God’s people. But the circumcision in the flesh, lost its value, when the New Covenant in Jesus Christ became effective.
The old circumcision was replaced by a new circumcision, that belonged to this New Covenant: the circumcision in Jesus Christ.
The circumcision in the Spirit
It didn’t matter, whether a person was circumcised in the flesh, but if a person was circumcised in Jesus Christ, in the Spirit. What mattered was, whether a person had laid down his flesh; his sinful nature, and had become a new creation in Jesus Christ.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.(Gal 6:15-16)
While the New Covenant was established, and the Old Covenant became obsolete. The Jews, forced the heathens, who became God’s people by faith in Jesus Christ, to become circumcised in the flesh. They were so stuck in their traditions and rituals, that they thought that the circumcision in the flesh, was still necessary to become a member of the assembly of God (the church).
And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved (Acts 15:1)
But Paul pointed out to them, that it was no longer appropriate. The circumcision of the flesh, belonged to the Old Covenant, and was no longer part of the New Covenant.
What does the circumcision in Jesus Christ mean?
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: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead (Col 2:11,12)
And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live (Deu 30:6)
For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 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 (Rom 2:28-29)
The circumcision of the flesh, was a token of God’s covenant with Abraham.
Due to the fact, that man could only walk after the flesh, they were being circumcised in the flesh.
Through the coming of Jesus Christ and by His sacrifice, the Old Covenant, which was sealed by the blood of animals, became obsolete.
The Old Covenant was replaced by the New Covenant, which was sealed with the blood of Jesus Christ.
The veil of the temple was being circumcised (rented in two) and the way to God was no longer through the circumcision in the flesh, or through statutes and rituals, and through the high priest in the temple. But the way to God was through Jesus Christ; the High Priest of the New Covenant.
Jesus became the veil to God
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water (Heb 10:19-22)
Jesus Christ became the veil to God. Jesus had taken all sins and iniquities of humanity upon Himself. He carried the punishment for sins and iniquities, which is dead. Therefore He entered Hades. But…. He didn’t stay there! Dead was not strong enough to keep Him there.
Jesus conquered death and was raised from the death, by the power of the Holy Spirit. His flesh with all sins and iniquities was laid down. Yes, Jesus was raised in a ‘new’ body from the dead. A body that wasn’t corrupted with evil, but was filled with eternal life. Jesus became the unleavened Bread from heaven, through Whom, many would be saved and would receive eternal life.
Jesus proclaimed His dead and resurrection
Jesus spoke many times, to His disciples, about His dead and resurrection. He had to die, so that through His dead, and resurrection, and His ascending to Heaven, the Holy Spirit could come, and many people, who were willing to deny themselves, and lay down their sinful nature, would be resurrected in the spirit, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus could have chosen for that. He could have chosen to live for Himself, but He didn’t.
Jesus chose to do the will of His Father, on this earth.
Jesus was the Firstborn of the new creation, who God initially created, before Adam sinned.
By His death and resurrection; by His blood, it would be possible to become a new creation in Him. But to become a new creation, means that you have to give up your old life; your sinful nature. Because the seed of grain wasn’t only related to Jesus, but to every sinner, who believes in Him.
Baptist in His dead
When a person believes in Jesus Christ, and repent of His walk, then he shall lay down his sinful life; his sinful nature. He shall do this symbolically by the baptism in water.
By being baptised in water, a person lays down his old life, as a sinner, and is being circumcised in Jesus Christ. He has been baptised and united in the death of Jesus Christ.
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Rom 6:4-5)
By laying down the flesh, and being buried into the death of Jesus Christ, the person belongs no longer to the devil, the kingdom of darkness, and to dead.
The person has laid down the flesh (dying of Jesus Christ), and the spirit of the person, is resurrected from the dead, by the baptism with the Holy Spirit (the resurrection of Jesus Christ).
The sanctification process
By the power of the Holy Spirit, the person belongs now to the Father, to the Kingdom of God, and has become a son of God.
The Holy Spirit lives in His fullness in the person. Therefore, by the power of the Holy Spirit every person will be able, to mortify all the deeds of the flesh.
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Rom 8:13)
Mortifying the deeds of the flesh is also called the process of sanctification. Every believer has to go through this process, and will be sanctified by the spiritual fire of the Holy Spirit.
What is the token of the circumcision in Jesus Christ?
The circumcision in Jesus Christ means, that you have laid down the old man. You have died to sin in Jesus Christ and therefore you shall no longer walk in sin. You have been made holy and righteous in Him.
You shall renew your mind with the Word of God, so that your old way of thinking (your worldly thinking) will be renewed with the words of God.
You shall get to know His will, and His commandments. And when you believe in His words, you shall walk in them.
You shall walk in His commandments, and His will, and walk after the Spirit.
This is the proof, the token, of your circumcision in Jesus Christ.
Your walk and your obedience to the Word, shows if you are really circumcised in Jesus Christ.
Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. (1 Cor 7:18-19)
The believers; the assembly of God, are those, who are circumcised in Jesus Christ:
Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh (Phil 3:2-3)
When you are truly circumcised in Jesus Christ, you shall walk in His commandments, and shall bear the fruit of the Spirit, and not the fruit of the flesh.
The works you do, and the fruit you bear, will show, if you really have laid down your flesh; your sinful nature, and have been circumcised in Jesus Christ.
‘Be the salt of the earth’