The True New Covenant fulfilment of the Circumcision Rite
In the first place, the Scriptures very clearly teach that the circumcision of the flesh was a seal of the Covenant which God had made with Abraham. It also, in addition, pointed to something greater, which the Eternal expects from His followers, i.e. the “circumcision of the heart”, as we will shortly indicate from the Scriptures.
The True Scriptural teaching in this connection, is that the rite of the True Baptism (i.e. adult immersion upon repentance) is the fulfillment of fleshly circumcision, i.e. adult Baptism is Spiritual circumcision – Infant Baptism has got no bearing whatsoever on the whole matter of Baptism!
It must be emphasised at the outset of this discussion, that ‘fulfillment’ does not in any way do away with the prototype, i.e. fleshly circumcision. For instance, when a plan of a building or a ship has been fulfilled by having completed the construction of the real thing, the plan still remains a very important part of the future and safety of that building or ship and can not be discarded. Popular Christian interpretation however, follows this erroneous reasoning that the Law of God has been ‘abolished’ because Messiah claimed to have ‘fulfilled’ the Law. The fact that He stressed no less than four times in that same paragraph in Matt. 5:17-20, that the Law will not be done away with, does not interest them.
So what does ‘fulfill’ mean? To “comply with”, “to execute it”, “to bring to perfection”; to “bestow on it a new and definitive form”, and, in proper context to the rest of the Bible, to raise it to a higher plain through the Spirit of the New Covenant. Not to do away with it! This applies to both the Law and Circumcision.
So, through Baptism, the “old sinful life” of the believing and repentant person is cut off (like in circumcision) and buried in the watery grave.
Romans 6:4-6 makes it clear when the apostle explained, “… When we were baptised in Messiah … we joined Him in death, so that as He was raised from the dead … we too might live a new life … we must realise. that our former selves have been crucified with Him … to free us from the slavery of sin”
The following scriptures will further clear this matter up, and leave no doubt in the reader’s mind as to what the True Bible teaching is.
Rom. 2 : 28, 29 “For he is not a real Jew who is one outwardly (in the flesh), nor is true circumcision something external and physical. He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal.”
Col. 2: 10,11 “In Him you have been circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hand, but by the complete stripping of your body of flesh. This is circumcision according to Messiah”.
The Most High spoke beforehand of the ‘spiritual circumcision’, as it is written;
Deut. 30:6 “And YHVH your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love YHVH your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live”.
Moses also exhorted the Israelites :
Deut 10:16 “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn. For YHVH your God is God of gods and Lord of lords”.
So it really is a very simple matter to understand that the circumcision of the heart is the spiritual fulfillment of the circumcision of the flesh. (Let the reader be once more reminded of the meaning of ‘fulfillment’, i.e. “comply with”, “to execute it”, “to bring to perfection”; to “bestow on it a new and definitive form”, and, in proper context to the rest of the Bible, to raise it to a higher plain through the Spirit of the New Covenant. Not to do away with it! Thus, the physical remains and does not become obsolete – they should exist side by side, the one complimenting the other).
The circumcision of the heart follows the pattern of natural circumcision, but only in a spiritual sense. When the Eternal made the Covenant of circumcision with Abraham, He said:
Gen, 17:10-12 “This is My Covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised … in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a Sign (seal) of the Covenant between Me and you. He that is eight days old among you shall be circumcised…”
The actual birth had to take place first, and then the circumcision followed. The same applies to the spiritual circumcision. A Spiritual Birth (the re-birth) must first take place before the spiritual circumcision can be effected. This is what Messiah meant in speaking to Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, when He said:
John 3:3-7 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the Kingdom of the Almighty. Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?’ ”
And then clearly the Saviour reveals the importance of water Baptism for the spiritual Re-birth:
John 3:5 ‘Truly, truly, I say unto you unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of the Almighty. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew”.
The wonderful part of the Rebirth is that according to the natural birth, you are born male or female. Thus, if you were born female, then you had no part of the Covenant of circumcision. But, in being born of the Spirit, the ‘new’ spiritual ‘person’ born within you, has no gender. This is made clear in
Gal. 3:28, 29 “There is neither male nor female; for you are all One in Messiah. And if you are Messiah’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to Promise”.
So, when you have come to a true repentance and given your life over into the hands of Messiah; when you have confessed your sins and accepted Him as your Saviour – only then will the blood which He shed, cleanse you from all your sins. Only then will you have prepared yourself for the Spiritual Rebirth to take place in you. Even as the Holy Spirit overshadowed Miriam (mother of Messiah – not Mary) and she conceived and brought forth a Son, even so will the Holy Spirit overshadow you and within you will be born a ‘new creature.’
Now it should be clear to you why the Scriptures stated that Philip baptised men and women (Acts 8 : 12). You must become a son of Abraham through Messiah so that you may be spiritually circumcised, by Baptism, to become an heir to the Promises which God had made to Abraham. This is why you must be ‘Born Again.’