| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 19 - Page 106 of 154 Index | Zoom | |
cross, and was attested and sealed at His glorious resurrection. The knowledge of Christ
after the flesh is opposed to a new creation in II Cor. 5: 16, 17, and to a perfect
righteousness of God in Him (verse 21).
The true meaning of circumcision.
With this added light we return to Rom. 4: to learn the true meaning of circumcision
It must have come as a startling revelation to the prejudiced Jew that Abraham was
justified by faith while he was, we may say, a Gentile. "How was it then reckoned unto
him? . . . . . not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision" (Rom. 4: 10). The absurdity of
attempting to exclude the believing uncircumcised Gentile from the full benefits of faith
in Christ becomes apparent immediately this fact is remembered. Circumcision was but
an external "sign" and "seal" of the righteousness of faith which he had being yet
This, argues the apostle, enables us to see that Abraham can be the spiritual father of
all them that believe, whether circumcised or uncircumcised: "That righteousness might
be imputed unto them also." Abraham is not only the father of the circumcision by
virtue of lineal descent, but "the father of circumcision to them who are not of the
circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham,
which he had being yet uncircumcised". To the same effect are the words of the Lord in
John: "They answered and said unto Him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them,
If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham" (John 8: 39).
John the Baptist taught the same truth: "Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance,
and think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father" (Matt. 3: 8, 9).
We shall meet the same argument in Rom. 9: 6-8 where the apostle states: "They
are not all Israel, which are of Israel, neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are
they all children, but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the
children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise
are counted for the seed."
Whether it be in the Gospels or the Epistles, written before or after Acts 28:, this
truth remains constant--true circumcision means the utter repudiation of the flesh.
Circumcision and Gen. 15: 6.
The meaning of this rite becomes more striking when we see how the apostle has
linked it with Gen. 15: 6, and balanced it with Rom. 4: 19. Let us seek this lesson.
The complaint of Abraham in Gen. 15: 2 is that he is childless and without an heir.
The promise of God is that Abraham shall have a son, and in order that we may be
impressed with the physical side of this promise, God says: "This shall not be thine heir
(referring presumably to Eliezer); but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels