I hope you do not mind that I ask so many questions, but I simply need to know and being satisfied with the answers given by you, I have one more: What is the story of circumcision? I know Jews used to do this before and nowadays Muslims and Jews practice circumcision, claiming to have chosen to continue the practices of the Old Testament. The first accept Jesus as a prophet called Isa in the Koran, and say that Muhammad is the last prophet whom they follow today, and latter, Jews do not admit that Jesus – the Messiah has already come on earth and they still expect Him.
From the outset, to clarify …
What is circumcision?
The Webster’s New World Medical Dictionary gives the following definition:
CIRCUMCISION: Surgery that removes the foreskin (the loose tissue) covering the glans of the penis. The Latin “circum-” means around (or about). Circumcision is, literally, a cutting around. Circumcision dates back to prehistoric times.
Who established this practice?
God made a covenant with Abraham, the patriarch of the people of Israel and the father of all believers. According to it, God promised great things Abraham and his seed. Here’s how it was:
Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, ”I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be blameless. I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly.” Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying, “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you will be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you. I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” (Genesis 17:1-8)(NASB)
Once He told him the promises of this grand covenant…
God said further to Abraham, “Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. (Genesis 17:9–10)(NASB)
Immediately God explained in the following verses…
The significance of circumcision
And He said:
And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you. And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a servant who is born in the house or who is bought with money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants. A servant who is born in your house or who is bought with your money shall surely be circumcised; thus shall My covenant be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.” (Genesis 17:11-14)(NASB)
Why Christians do not practice circumcision?
God fulfilled the promises given to Abraham in us, those who have believed in the Lord Jesus. Therefore, circumcision is no longer necessary and has no importance for Christians, as Apostle Paul says:
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God. (1 Corinthians 7:19)(NASB)
And when he found out that some circumcised Jews were disturbing the first Christians’ faith, saying that if someone is not circumcised, he can not be saved, the Apostle wrote the Christians:
Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision; for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh. (Philippians 3:2-3)(NASB)
So, the real circumcised are we, Christians, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh, such as circumcision made by man’s hand.
With regard to other religions and the importance that they give to circumcision, I let the reader to judge by himself how it is in the light of Bible’s teaching.
Translated by Felicia Rotaru