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denies the truth of several scriptural references to the contrary. The essence of both circumcision and baptism testify of spiritual cleansing from sin through bloodshedding. Moses wrote, "Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and He chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked" (Deuteronomy 10:15-16).

    Deuteronomy 30:6, Isaiah 52: 1, Jeremiah 4:4, 6: 10, 9:25-26, and Ezekiel 44:7-9 are examples of other Old Testament references to the spiritual meaning of circumcision; Romans 2:29, Philippians 3:3, and Colossians 2:11 are New Testament examples. The cutting away of the natural foreskin portrayed the spiritual truth that bloodshedding was required to remove natural man's sin before the generation of spiritual life could be possible. This is the same cleansing lesson taught in baptism spiritual life is possible only through the cleansing power of bloodshedding, i.e., the blood of Jesus Christ.

    c. Both rites serve as initiatory signs -All those in relationship to God's covenant and church in the Old Testament were to be circumcised; in the New Testament they are to be baptized. Circumcision and baptism are confirmation of one's citizenship. As external applications, both mark one's entrance into the Church Visible and into an outward covenant relationship with God. When internally applied, both represent one's entrance into the Church Invisible and saving covenant relationship with God.

    As natural birth and citizenship, and spiritual rebirth and citizenship take place only once in a person's lifetime, so circumcision and baptism take place only once. On the other hand, Passover and the Lord's Supper are celebrated repeatedly because they picture the continual, spiritual nourishment the believer receives from Christ. Since a person can only be spiritually nourished after being spiritually born, only the circumcised and baptized may partake of the Passover and Lord's Supper meals.

    d. Both rites are linked together in Scripture- Paul speaks of spiritual circumcision as the spiritual death of the old nature,

 

And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

-Deuteronomy 30:6

Awake, awake; put on thy strength, 0 Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, 0 Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.

-Isaiah 52:

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised;
Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness: for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.

-Jeremiah 9:25-26

But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

-Romans 2:29

For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

-Philippians 3:3

In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.

-Colossians 2:11

 

  • Initiatory -Entrance; admittance; membership

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