Circumcision was a physical sign that both ratified the covenant between God
and the people, such as a signature on a contract ratifies a contract, and also
identified them physically.
Genesis 17:7-14 " And I will establish my covenant between me
and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting
covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give
unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger,
all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their
God. And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou,
and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye
shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child
among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your
foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he
that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in
your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any
stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he
that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant
shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised
man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be
cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant."
Leviticus 12:3 "And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin
shall be circumcised."
But now, we ratify the covenant by mental circumcision, or circumcision of
the heart, the changing of your whole attitude toward God and others, and it is
our out ward actions that identify us physically.
Deuteronomy 10:16 "Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your
heart, and be no more stiffnecked".
Jeremiah 4:4 " Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away
the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem:
lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because
of the evil of your doings."
Acts 15:1-11 "And certain men which came down from Judaea taught
the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses,
ye cannot be saved. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension
and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and
certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and
elders about this question. And being brought on their way by the church,
they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the
Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. And when they
were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the
apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with
them. But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed,
saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep
the law of Moses. And the apostles and elders came together for to consider
of this matter. And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and
said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made
choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the
gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness,
giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference
between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why
tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither
our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace
of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they."
Acts 16:1-4 "Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a
certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman,
which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: Which was well
reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. Him would Paul
have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews
which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.
And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to
keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at
Though circumcision is not necessary for salvation, we see that Paul still
Romans 2:25-29 "For circumcision verily profits, if thou keep
the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made
uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of
the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall
not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfill the law, judge thee,
who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a
Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward
in the flesh: 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."
1 Corinthians 7:18-19 "Is any man called being circumcised? let
him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not
be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but
the keeping of the commandments of God."
Galatians 5:2-11 "Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be
circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every
man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is
become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye
are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of
righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth
any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. Ye did run
well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion
cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole
lump. I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none
otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment,
whosoever he be. And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet
suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased."
Colossians 3:11 " Where there is neither Greek nor Jew,
circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but
Christ is all, and in all."
It appears that mental circumcision, or the keeping of God's laws is what
ratifies the covenant promise now.
Though adults are no longer required to be circumcised, children should still
be circumcised for health reasons. It is an interesting note that those who have
had circumcision preformed have less sexual health problems. Medical grounds for
circumcision that are most commonly cited are: Reduced risk of urinary tract
infections (UTI); reduced risk of penile cancer; reduced risk of cervical cancer
in partners; reduced risk of sexually transmitted disease (STD).
Circumcision according to the CDC has been found to significantly reduce the
circumcised male's chance of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted
infections from an infected female. It is recommend, but not required, that male
infants be circumcised when they are eight days old.