Slightly over three-fourths of boys born in the United States are circumcised as newborns. While circumcision is not a life-saving surgery, circumcision of the heart will change lives. Before you start thinking there is some new medical procedure for the physical organ we call the heart, please understand, the heart I am writing about is the spiritual heart, the seat of our emotions, our mind, our thoughts, the thing within us that inspires our actions.
While the stories in the Bible true, the laws and religious ceremonies were often physical examples of spiritual truth. As an example; the night of the Passover. Hebrew households killed a lamb, placed the blood of the lamb on the doorposts of their homes, and that night the firstborn of every house without the blood on the door died. The event of the Passover is a physical representation of spiritual truth – those without the blood of the Lamb of God on the doorposts of their heart will see spiritual death.
Now to the topic at hand: spiritual circumcision. The subject of spiritual circumcision progresses through the Bible. Each passage building upon the ones before it, collectively giving us an excellent view of the issue.
Deuteronomy 10:16, “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.”
We do not learn a lot, but we do learn a little from this verse. God tells us to do it; therefore it must be something we can do on our own. Also, He implies the result would be that we would no longer have a haughty or stubborn personality.
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.”
Here, the Bible tells us plainly that God will circumcise someone’s heart. This statement is not a contradiction from the previous verse where it is pointed out we can do it ourselves; it is an addition of information. If we have enough determination we can change. Anyone, who has removed alcohol or drugs from their lives is a case in point. However, in this verse, God takes control circumcising the heart. The result is a full love on our part toward God. When combining these two passages, we can see that it is the circumcision done by God that brings life. Even in turning over a new leaf, we cannot save ourselves.
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.”
Again, we are told to circumcise our heart. There is a desire on God’s part for a willingness on our part. God wants us to choose to follow Him. He wants us, because of our love for Him, to have a heart that wants to do what He says. This verse is telling us God will become angry with our evil ways and punishment will follow if we are unwilling to do spiritual surgery on our heart.
Romans 2:28-29, “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.”
The first of two passages from the New Testament tells us, in summary, that being a child of God is because of changes of the heart – the inward man, not because of actions we have taken or religious ceremonies we have taken part in, but because of how God has changed the heart.
When salvation comes to an individual, there is a change that takes place. Because of faith in the blood of God’s Lamb, Jesus Christ, God sends the Holy Spirit into the heart and old things are passed away, and all things become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). No one becomes a Christian through doing stuff or participating in religious ceremonies. People become a Christian by placing faith in Jesus Christ (John 3:16-18, 36; Ephesians 2:8-9). Remember the Passover described above? Many did not believe the angel of death would go through Egypt that night. They did nothing and death was the outcome. Those that had faith in the Word of God killed the lamb, and put the blood on the doorpost; it was their faith in the Word and the blood that provided them salvation that night. The Passover was the physical example of spiritual truth – when people believed in the Word of God and God’s Lamb – salvation is attained. Their action of putting blood on the door was a result of faith.
One more; Colossians 2:10-11, “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 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:”
The more our changed heart removes sin from our lives the more complete we are in Christ. How full are you in Him? Have you had the circumcision of the heart?