Understanding God’s Circumcision of the Heart!
(Ver 1.2) This is of course a potentially explosive subject of an extremely controversial nature. There are well over 100 verses in the Bible that have a related topic or subject. I will of course not be trying to speak to all of these verses. What I will be attempting to do is focus on God’s typology from the O.T. and how it applies to the spiritual realm in the N.T. The Bible can be very complex, God can speak of natural things and spiritual things and call them by the exact same names. This makes Bible interpretation very difficult for many people and causes a great number of people to be very confused. Today’s subject is a key example of this point. Circumcision is normally thought of in natural terms only, but we soon discover that God gave us this natural example to teach us of something that we could not see with our natural eyes. Here we go with today’s Hot Topic, the Circumcision of the Heart. Let’s start by looking at an Old Testament prophecy and see what it says:
Deu 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.
If you can read and see what this verse declares then you will better understand the verses that we will look at next in the New Testament. This verse tells us that God will do something that we are unable to do. This verse is not speaking of your physical heart, it is speaking of your spirit. In this verse God says I will circumcise your spirit. This of course is a symbolic spiritual operation and not a physical operation. After you are born again your spirit is uncovered, enabling you to see spiritual things. We’ll probably talk about this more soon, but notice this is an Old Testament verse so it has to be a prophetic future event. It also mentions your heart or your spirit and your soul and your flesh or body is the implied reference of circumcision. This helps us to see that man is a triune being made in the image and likeness of God.
Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
Rom 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.
As you can clearly see in these two verses in Romans, God is contrasting and comparing two different groups of people. Both are referred to as being Jews, but one group is said to be circumcised by God and the other group by the hands of men. What do you think this is talking about? I’m sure if you do not want to accept what it says, that you must have already created an alternative interpretation. What we discover in the Bible is that, God initiated natural circumcision in the flesh way back with Abraham. This was an outward sign of the Old Covenant. Of course this was only a male practice and not done to females. This was not something God did personally, you do understand that, don’t you? So down through the centuries, the priests of Israel would perform this ritual to the male child on the 8th day after birth. This is the circumcision done by the hands of men that God is speaking of and comparing it to the real circumcision. God says very clearly in Romans 2:28 and 29 that these are not the true Jews. As you can see that is an extremely unpopular verse of scripture in many churches. Of course I added the word “True” before Jews in order to introduce a qualifier or an adjective to distinguish one kind of Jew from another kind of Jew spoken of in the Bible. So you may not totally agree with my adjective, “True”. You see God calls them that have been circumcised inwardly of the heart and the spirit to be the “real” Jew. God does the inward circumcision in man’s spirit and this is a fact whether you are male or female in the natural realm. What God does in the spirit realm is the Real Deal and everything else that man does is just a temporary patterned type of the real.
When God says something is “inward” and describes this in relationship to the terms of “hearts” and “spirits”, God is revealing a world that we cannot normally see with our eyes. Unless God gives you a vision into the spiritual realm, you are limited to your natural perception of reality. You can of course learn about the spiritual realm of God, by correctly observing what God teaches us in the Bible. The Bible says that God is a Spirit (John 4:24), have you ever seen God? The Bible actually says no man has ever seen God (1 Jo 4:12). So God is speaking of a Spiritual Realm or Dimension that is different than the natural realm that we live in here. I would venture to say that there are many Christians in the world that must not know this.
So why did God give Israel the Law and all of these outward practices that they have done such a poor job at keeping? I believe one reason that God gave Israel the Law was to prove to man that he was incapable of keeping it. Meaning God recorded the law for man to see God’s level of expectations and His requirements to obtain or earn righteousness by works and no man has ever fulfilled these requirements, except for Jesus Christ.
Rom 2:25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made un circumcision.
We can again see in Romans that God declares that man could achieve righteousness of his own works if he was able to keep all of the law of God. But, since everyone has broken at least one law, God declares that you are guilty of breaking all of the law (James 2:10) So as a result of breaking the law, God says your outward physical circumcision has been rendered useless, you have become like the un-circumcision. So apparently the fact that you are circumcised in your flesh has been superseded by a spiritual requirement that you were not aware of.
Act 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
These are the words of Stephen speaking to the natural Jews on trial for his life as witnesses came before the elders and priests and lied to them about the words of Stephen. God further confirms that those who are judging Stephen are not the True Jews that God is looking for. God did not care about their fleshly signs of the Covenant of Old. God was using Stephen to look into their hearts and see that their spirits needed this circumcision done by God’s hands. You do understand that both Stephen and Paul were circumcised in their flesh and they counted this as unimportant. I guess I should change that, they saw a need for a greater circumcision done by God to be more important than that which was done by the hands of men. You can also learn that this circumcision involves your ears also. Did you know your spirit is connected to your ears? The Bible says “Faith comes by hearing”. Faith is a spiritual force and a factor that comes from hearing the truth of God’s Word. The truth can be easily rejected, as evidenced by the number of denominations in the Christian body. Evidently part of God’s circumcision results in the ability to hear the truth. Men can still choose to reject it and thus we have such a vast array of writings about what the truth is.
Col 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
This is another verse that declares the church to be the “circumcision” made without the hands of men. This of course is a spiritual circumcision done by God. This verse informs us that God has cut off the body of the sins of the flesh. What is this talking about? Just because we become a born again believer in Christ, we still have the same body that we did before we were saved. So God must be talking about something symbolically that occurred within us that has not occurred in those in the world. If you do not know what I am talking about, I would be concerned that I am not saved. You see Christians should be becoming more and more spiritually aware as they grow in Christ.
Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spiriit, that we are the children of God:
God is a Spirit and if you are born again the Spirit of God has now come into your spirit on the inside of you and He now is the witness to the fact that you are a child of God. Isn’t that what this verse is saying? Apparently according to this verse, Christians are suppose to be spiritually alive and aware. If you have become more aware of spiritual things and less aware of natural things, then you are a Real Christian. If you have more concern with things about your body, than you do with your spirit, I would be very concerned. God gives us a fact that the circumcision of the body is a removal of the dominance of the flesh that every non-believer still experiences. People in the world are more concerned with how they feel and how you make them feel than they are about you personally. This becoming spiritually aware is the circumcision of the body from the spirit of man done by God. God gives you the ability to focus on what is more important. God gives you the ability to focus on eternal things more than the temporary things of this world.
2Co 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
What are these things that you can see being referenced in this verse? You can see your face in the mirror, you can see your food on your plate. You can see the house that you live in. You can see the car that you drive to name a few things that God said that are not that important. What are the things that you cannot see that God said were eternal? If your body is not eternal and God said you are, then you must be a spirit being that will live forever somewhere. Within the body of every human being is a spirit being that will exist somewhere forever. God is a Spirit and He will live forever. Every spiritual being is eternal. Did you know that the only thing that you will take with you to heaven or to hell is your experiences and memories on the earth. You will get a new body eventually, but that is not the body you have now. So what are the eternal things that you should be concerned with? I believe it is your job to get as many of your friends saved as you can. I believe it is your job to tell everyone that you can about Jesus and what He has done for them. These are the eternal things that you can take with you. Thank you for reading my Bible study on the circumcision done by the hands of God.
Posted on June 17, 2010, in Bible Study, Circumcision, Understanding and tagged Bible, Christianity, Church, Circumcision, God, Holy Spirit, Interpretation, Jesus, Religion, Revelation, Symbolism, Truth, understanding. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.
Dear Ron, thank you for this study. One question near the end : Did you know that the only thing that you take to heaven or hell is your experiences and memories on the earth? Please direct me to a study or give a response to this question you ask. This is very important because eternity is a long time.
Luke 16 is the quick answer to your concern. The rich man and Lazarus both die. Their bodies are buried and their spirits go to two different locations. The rich man in torment in hell looks Abraham and asks him to send Lazarus to cool his tongue with a drop of water. The rich man asks Abraham to send Lazarus back to the earth to tell his brothers not to come here. Abraham in this conversation tells him they have Moses and the prophets to warn them. It is very clear that a dead man remembers that facts of his life and regrets his choices. He even knows who Abraham his distant relative is. He clearly knows the beggar Lazarus. It is amazing the truth found in this real life and death story revealed by our LORD Jesus.
Revelation 21:4 is another great lesson about life after death. In this verse God says that He will wipe away every tear from the eyes of those in heaven. There is an implied meaning that people must remember all of their family members that did not make it. They could also remember how they failed and did not receive all of the rewards they could have earned by doing the full will of God for their lives.
I hope and pray that this answered the question. I do not have time or space in a comment to go into great detail. God Bless you and thank you for the question.
Thank you….I had always skipped over the part about the ears!
Thank you for you comment and God Blessings be upon you.
Thank you for the truth of God’s word. I was encouraged by your word on circumcision.
I truly enjoyed your words about circumcision of the heart God bless.
I was reading on circumscision, and i was stucked and confused. It is helpful and brought me back to understand that unless my heart is in right standing with God,i may not win souls for Christ. I must get it right first for my light to shine that men may see it and glorify the Father. Thank you. God bless and refresh your understanding.
This was a very good explanation!We just began to study this in church last night.Thank you!
To me it was PURE LOVE, that the Father shows to a Son, i HOPE all to enjoy the something, he does write his laws upon OUR HEARTS, YOU ARE MORE THAN WELCOME. and MAY GOD BLESS
Nothing symbolic about it, i was singing in the Spirit one Night, praising the Lord, and know matter where i touched my stomach or chest, MY WHOLE INSIDES WAS THUMPING LIKE ONE BIG HEART (WHICH DOES AWAY WITH THE LUSTS OF THE FLESH), i have “CHRIST IN ME A HOPE OF GLORY” and have had Many Revelation of the TRUTH OF THE SPIRIT. Why don’t Christains know this TRUTH?
i’m currently studying this subject. This is very helpful. Thanks