Sermonette: Circumcision Is Nothing?
Has Circumcision Been Done Away Forever?
Charles Whitaker (1944-2021)
Given 11-Jul-20; 16 minutes
Physical circumcision 1.) remains pertinent to physical Israelites and 2.) has prophetic relevance. While the participants of the Jerusalem Council did rule that gentiles converts to Christianity were not obligated to be physically circumcised (Acts 15:1-29), the Council did not extend that ruling to Israelites, a decision which would have represented a vast cultural change for the Jews and which would have required extensive apostolic teaching, which is absent in the pages of the New Testament. Luke explicitly states that the addressees of the letter documenting the Council's decision were gentile converts to God's Church. Ezekiel 44:4-9 teaches that gentiles wishing to foster a relationship with God during the Millennium (and beyond) will need to receive physical and spiritual circumcision. Physical circumcision is, hence, neither a defunct artifact of Israelite culture nor prophetically irrelevant. The New Testament uses the words circumcise/circumcision to refer to 1.) the surgical procedure, 2.) the Israelites (with the noun uncircumcision referring to gentiles) and 3.) the Church. At I Corinthians 7:19, Paul does not state that circumcision or uncircumcision lack relevance to a Christian's walk. In the context of I Corinthians 7, Paul is talking about priorities: Each child of God must prioritize his objectives such that he "remain[s] with God in that state in which he was called."