Circumcision and New Life

Bible Reading: Joshua 5:2-12

In this passage, the Lord asked Joshua to circumcise all the men of Israel who came from Egypt. They are the ones who had not been circumcised during their forty years in the desert. Those men who were of military age during their journey from Egypt had died since they did not obeyed the Lord. So He raised up their sons in their place and these were the ones circumcised by Joshua.

Circumcision is a reminder that they had pledged their obedience to God in everything. It marked them as God’s chosen people and it symbolised their cutting off their old life of sin. It was an outward sign that they were purifying their hearts. it indicated their rededicating their lives to God.

Today, our circumcision is not going through the knife anymore. The new covenant is now about the redemption of Christ and putting on a new self.

You have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. (Colossians 3:10-11)

Our outward manifestation of renewance is not through signs or rituals or even taking out something physically anymore. It is our daily filling and obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Daily we put on our new self and put to death what is trying to resurrect in our old self.

I remember one of my good friends told me that as a Christian who is once saved, her daily prayer of surrender is not her life but her stubbornness to obey and just go on her own way. It is true even for me. Everyday, it is so tempting to go on and do things that seem right in your eyes but what is daunting is once motives are checked – they are not of God. This is why filling of the Holy Spirit is important every single day.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.

Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

(Col. 12-14)

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