Our theme for this month: “Understanding Salvation”
Our Bible verse for today: “In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men, but with the circumcision done by Christ.” Colossians 2:11 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “You need to be circumcised.”
Let’s talk about circumcision. You know, the surgical procedure that involves taking a sharp knife to the male penis and cutting away the excess foreskin surrounding the head. It is bloody and it is painful. However, in addition to the physical and hygienic function it serves, there is also spiritual symbology associated with it.
In yesterday’s devotional we read in Ephesians 5:15 where the Apostle Paul instructed us to “Pay careful attention, then, to how you live – not as unwise people but as wise – making the most of the time …” Then he went on to teach us what it means to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit. In that passage he was telling us that there should be something different and special about how we as the followers of Jesus live our lives. That brings us to the spiritual significance of the symbol of circumcision.
In Genesis chapter 17 God directed Abraham to circumcise all the males in his household as a physical sign of the spiritual covenant He was making with them. It was a symbolic gesture which marked them as belonging to God. Later, in the time of the Exodus, God reconfirmed circumcision as a marker to identify His people. However in Romans 2:25-29, and again in Colossians 2:11, the Apostle Paul explained that true circumcision is circumcision of the heart, not of the flesh. It involves cutting out of our lives anything that does not honor or please God. Physical circumcision is actually unnecessary for New Testament Christians. It is circumcision of the heart that marks us as the people of God.
What does this have to do with our theme for this month of salvation? Just that circumcision of the heart is an important part of the second stage of the salvation process which is known as sanctification. Now that we have been saved (the first stage), we are in the process of being transformed more and more into the likeness of Jesus (the second stage). This will involve spiritual circumcision – cutting out of our lives anything that does not honor and please God.
If you happen to have one of those male appendages, it does not need to be circumcised. But your heart does. So please don’t run out and get physically circumcised – unless you really want to. As a matter of faith it isn’t necessary. But please do circumcise your heart. Cut out of your life anything that does not honor and please God.