Comments on Verses from Prophets

Jeremiah 9:25 “Behold the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will punish all those who are circumcised merely in the flesh—“

The nation of Israel saw the sign of circumcision as a surety of the promises of God, but they failed to see that the same sign was also a surety that they would follow through by changing their hearts. They circumcised their skin and then gave their hearts to other Gods. They thought that the physical action was enough to get them by. They thought that having the sign of circumcision was a guarantee of salvation. The truth was, the outward sign of cutting the flesh was a symbol of an inner sign of cutting the heart. They are the people who were told, “Rend your heart and not your garment.”

“Circumcise yourselves to the Lord; remove the foreskin of your hearts, O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem; lest my wrath goes forth like fire, and burn with none to quench it, because of the evil of your deeds.” (Jeremiah 4:4)

What does this have to do with us? Suppose we look at Paul’s comparison. “For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.” (Rom. 2:28, 29) How are Christians circumcised in the heart? Who provides the circumcision?

We Christians are circumcised by Jesus when we are buried with Him in baptism. “In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses…”

Like the Jews of Jeremiah’s day, it is possible to go through the physical act of circumcision (baptism) and trust in the act of being buried in water and not in the blood of Jesus, which is a thing of heart, not flesh.

Task for Today: Ask yourself if you have been circumcised by Christ through the completion of baptism in the water and the blood. As it turns out, circumcision is a sign of salvation, not the cleansing or cutting of the flesh but an answer to God in regard to the heart. God told Jeremiah, “Remove the foreskin of your hearts.” Have you? Not were you dipped in water, but was your heart changed.

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