Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Divine plan behind the ritual of circumcision and its spiritual significance. Part 3.
Friday, May 10, 2002
The first great challenge in church history had to do with an attack on the grace of God.
In Jerusalem, at the time the apostle Paul was on his first missionary journey, the legalistic believers had taken over the church.
In Jerusalem we have some very moral people, very sweet, very kind, and very sincere.
The Judaizers insisted a believer from a non-Jewish background (Gentile) must first become a Jew ceremonially, by being circumcised, before he could be admitted to the Church.
Grace versus legalism is the major issue in Christianity.
stood up - exanistemi = to arise up, to interrupt.
1. They need to be circumcised for salvation. 2. They need to keep the Law for spirituality.
A legalist is simply a believer out of fellowship who has developed a system of morality.
The baptism of the Spirit at salvation and the resultant positional sanctification is the only circumcision of the Church-age.
Just like circumcision was the sign of the new racial species in the O.T., now, in union with Christ, it is the sign of the new spiritual species, “circumcision made without hands.”
COL 2:11 - Christian circumcision is “removal of” not a part, but the entire “body of the flesh.”
Because the sin nature was judged by Christ in His death, so the believer by virtue of his union and identification with Christ shares that “removal” Christ accomplished, just as he shares Christs fullness and is “complete” in Him, COL 2:10.
COL 2:11 “the removal of the flesh” = the “cutting away” of the flesh.
It does not imply eradication of the flesh in this life but indicates that by union with Christ the believer in time is delivered from the power and the authority of the OSN.
GAL 5:17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.
Our circumcision, which occurred at the moment of salvation = TLJC has cut off the foreskin of the OSN from the believer.
It is the generation of the noisy gongs and the clanging cymbals, 1CO 13:1.
1. At the moment of salvation the believer has been circumcised with a spiritual circumcision which has cut away the foreskin of the flesh or the OSN.
2. At the moment of our spiritual circumcision we were all dead in our trespasses and sins and needed supernatural help from God, EPH 2:1.
4. The comparison to our spiritual circumcision = we do not have to wait to become a mature believer like Abraham did; we are in union with Christ and we share in His circumcision.
5. In the Old Testament, circumcision commemorates the new race on earth, the perfect plan, and the glory of God.
6. Our spiritual circumcision commemorates the new spiritual species, the PPOG, and the resultant glorification of God.
7. Our spiritual circumcision is the result of the fact that our Lord became a mature believer and we are in union with Him.
8. Circumcision became the ritual sign not of a spiritual thing, but of a physical thing - the new racial species.
9. Our spiritual circumcision is not a physical thing, but a spiritual thing - the baptism of the Spirit and the new spiritual species or the new creation.
Robert R. McLaughlin All Rights Reserved 2002