What does the Bible say about circumcision in the New Testament?

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In the New Testament, the Gentiles were not required to keep the Mosaic law of circumcision. Paul specifically said, “Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters” (1 Corinthians 7:18, 19).

Neither compliance with the Jewish rite of circumcision nor failure to do so could affect an individual’s relationship with God through faith in Jesus. Emphasis is here placed upon the truth that outward ceremonies and observances are valueless without faith in Christ (Galatians 5:6; 6:15). The newborn child of God is accepted by Him, not by reason of any rituals that he may perform, but because of his faith in the great work performed for him by Christ on the cross (John 3:16; Romans 4:5; Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Please note that there are two different laws presented in the Bible:

MOSES’ LAW

  • Called “the law of Moses” (Luke 2:22).
  • Called “law … contained in ordinances” (Ephesians 2:15).
  • Written by Moses in a book (2 Chronicles 35:12).
  • Placed outside the ark (Deuteronomy 31:26).
  • Ended at the cross (Ephesians 2:15).
  • Added because of sin (Galatians 3:19).
  • Contrary to us, against us (Colossians 2:14).
  • Judges no one (Colossians 2:14-16).
  • Carnal (Hebrews 7:16).

GOD’S LAW

  • Called “the law of the Lord” (Isaiah 5:24).
  • Called Ten Commandments-“the royal law” (James 2:8).
  • Written by God on stone (Exodus 31:18; 32:16).
  • Placed inside the ark (Exodus 40:20).
  • Will stand forever (Luke 16:17).
  • Points out sin (Romans 7:7; 3:20).
  • Not grievous (1 John 5:3).
  • Judges all people (James 2:10-12).
  • Spiritual (Romans 7:14).
  • Perfect (Psalms 19:7).

Circumcision was a ritual of the Mosaic law which was a temporary, ceremonial law of the Old Testament. This law was abolished at the cross (Ephesians 2:15). Do people still circumcise today? Yes, and that is because it is more healthy and hygienic, but of itself holds no more religious value.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

This post is also available in: हिन्दी (Hindi)

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