Spiritual Circumcision - "Circumcise the Heart"
There are a number of New Testament references which appear, at first glance, to imply that physical circumcision isn't so important under the New Covenant. For example:
1 Corinthians 7:19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters.
Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. NKJV
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,
And in Romans we meet with the concept of "circumcision of the heart"
Romans 2:29 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.
Circumcision of the Heart is Not a New Covenant Idea
Interestingly though, the concept of being circumcised in the heart is not a New Covenant idea. In fact it has been an important consideration under the Old Covenant since the book of Deuteronomy.
Deuteronomy 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.
Deuteronomy 30:6 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.
Jeremiah 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Since physical circumcision is a physical sign of being a descendent of Abraham, arguably being "circumcised in the heart" was (and remains) a way of expressing that an individual is like Abraham by virtue of their faith, attitude and behaviours irrespective of whether they are a physical descendent or not. That is, their motivation and way of life is like "the friend of God".
Obviously this is indeed, far more important than whether they are physically circumcised (a physical descendent of Abraham).
Next: Should Anyone Who Thinks They Are an Israelite be Circumcised?
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© www.gentiles-and-circumcision.info Jan 2006.
Paul kept Nazirite vows, even after the crucifixion & offered sacrifices at the temple many christian theologians believe, so how can the Torah law really be "done away" in Galatians ?