(Gen. 17:7-14) Physical circumcision is (cutting off to remove the foreskin) and was instituted by God as a physical sign of His covenant with Abraham and Israel. (V.14) If a male Jew was not circumcised he had broken the covenant and that soul was cut off from his people.
(Gen. 34:22-25) Circumcision is a very painful operation. All the millions of physical circumcisions performed on Jewish males over thousands of years pointed to a physical event that would have eternal spiritual consequences for all of mankind.
Israel should have understood Jesus’ purpose; their own prophets foretold Jesus was coming, the whole tabernacle and all its furnishings pointed to Jesus, their Law of Moses and temple worship screamed Messiah was coming.
The very thing, physical circumcision, (Gen. 17:1-19 esp. V.11 keyword: token, then V.14 & 19) the token (monument, evidence) of their covenant that made them Jews (God's chosen people) was actually a physical prophesy that defined Jesus’ purpose (Heb. 8:13 thru 9:28 esp. 9:14-26 then Col.2:6-11 and 2Cor. 5:17-18) of bringing a spiritual circumcision made without hands that made His people Christians (Jesus' chosen people).
(Isa. 59:17-21 & Luke 19:41-44 esp. V.44 keywords: thou knewest not the time of thy visitation) God had chosen and prepared Israel from which Jesus the Christ (Messiah) would come but as a nation they still missed it (their purpose for existence); they refused Jesus. (Matt. 21:42-43; & Luke 9:22) Since Israel, called the circumcision, was God’s chosen nation, Jesus was sent to them first with God’s offer of salvation.
The Jews, as a nation rejected salvation, rejected Jesus and killed Him just as Jesus had said they would. (John 19:10-11) The murderers did not realize they did not have the power to kill Jesus but that (Heb. 9:14) Jesus offered Himself through the Holy Spirit.
Think about this: (Gen. 4:3-10) At the beginning of man Cain offered an earthly offering (worldly-physical) to God while Able offered a life offering (blood-spiritual). (Heb.9:6-26) The Cain-worldly-physical-principal held true to the Israel-(priesthood)-worldly-physical method of worship. AND The Able-blood-spiritual principal held true to Jesus-blood-spiritual.
The Jews depended on the physical law of Moses and physical circumcision (earthly-physical) for their salvation BUT: true salvation comes from (Col. 2:11) the spiritual circumcision made without hands by Jesus through the Holy Spirit (salvation- the spiritual cutting away of all past sins) (2Cor. 3:3) and then learning God's law written in people's hearts through God's word by the Holy Spirit. (2Tim. 2:15) "Study to show thyself approved."
A few individual Jews accepted Jesus and some of them became the Apostles. After Jesus’ resurrection and ascension into Heaven (Acts 2:1-41) the Holy Spirit was given to the Apostles (Acts 10:1-45 esp. V.45) and the Gospel was preached to the Gentiles, who are called the uncircumcision.
THINK ABOUT THIS A MINUTE: READ (Col. 2:6-13 esp. V.11) “In whom also ye (Christians) are circumcised with the #1) circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh #2) by the circumcision of Christ.” (John 19:33) #2) THE CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST WAS WHEN HE WAS TORTURED TO DEATH; HE WAS CIRCUMCISED (CUT OFF) FROM THE LIVING!
(Rom. 2:29) #1) The circumcision made without hands is the spiritual circumcision at salvation when the old man of sin is cut off (circumcision) (2Cor.5:17-21) and a new sinless man is made through the sacrifice of Jesus. We cannot do it and it is not required for us to even try! CHRIST DID IT ALL! Jesus' circumcision when He was cut off from the living was also a very painful operation. Jesus' circumcision of our heart is not painful. It sets us free and brings joy.
AGAIN: That is how every Christian’s salvation event was brought about. #1 Each person's soul is spiritually circumcised at the time of salvation because the sins of each person are “cut off” (washed away-cleansed-gone) by the blood of Jesus because #2 Jesus was “cut off” (circumcised) from the living (1Cor. 5:7) when He was crucified as the sacrifice for our sins.
(Rom. 2:29) This spiritual circumcision of man’s heart (soul), made without hands, spiritually cuts off (circumcises) the sinful part of your life because at the time of salvation you are “cut off” (circumcised) from your past life (Rom. 6:6 & Col. 3:9) and that old man of sin dies (cut off).
(2Cor. 5:17) A born again Christian “is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” That is why the born again salvation experience is a finished event. You cannot get any more saved than that!
PLEASE UNDERSTAND THIS: (Gen. 17:14 & John 3:3 then 1Pet. 1:23) If a person is not cleansed of his sins by the blood of Jesus and thus spiritually born again through the Holy Spirit that person is cut off from the kingdom of God just like a physically uncircumcised Jew was cut off from his people!
THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT: (Eph. 2:18-22) You were a STRANGER and a FOREIGNER to God's kingdom before you were saved but after you are saved through the spiritual born again event you are now a child of God. You are a FELLOWCITIZEN with the saints, you are of the household of God and you are a habitation of God through the Holy Spirit.
The pain of this initial circumcision is the pain of understanding you are lost and on the way to hell and there isn't a thing you can do about it. AND: Dragging up the humility to admit you are lost and on the way to hell and asking God to save you.
The pain of the ongoing circumcision is: #1) You cannot have the same old relationship with a lot of the people you know, #2) you can’t talk like you used to, #3) some of the people you know won’t want you around them anymore, #4) your loyalties won’t be the same, #5) you won’t feel comfortable in some of the old places and situations, #6) you must learn a new language and lifestyle and #7) a lot of this newness and learning will hurt; especially when you fail (sin).
REMEMBER THIS: A new Christian is just like any foreigner who takes up citizenship in a new country; #1) there is a new language to learn, #2) there are new rules and laws to learn and follow and #3) there are new responsibilities and work to accomplish. #4) There are better benefits, #5) greater advantages, and #6) a new identity.
#7) (John 16:13-14) The Holy Spirit is your Sponsor and Guide and will lead you into all truth concerning these spiritual things BUT they will be according to God's Holy Bible. (2Tim. 2:15 keywords: study to show thyself approved, which means acceptable) It is up to you to study and it will hurt (circumcision) to give up lots of things in your life in order to make time to study. It is a test of your heaven worthiness.