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Necessity of heart circumcision – Part 1

By Pastor W. F. Kumuyi
28 August 2022   |   2:50 am
The children of Israel circumcised their male children on the eighth day after birth, as God commanded Abraham. They took pride in it and regarded people of other nations

Kumuyi. Photo: GOSPELMINDS

The children of Israel circumcised their male children on the eighth day after birth, as God commanded Abraham. They took pride in it and regarded people of other nations as uncircumcised.

They forgot that what they rejoiced and take pride in, was merely an act of consecration and commitment to the Lord by their parents. As parental consecration is not transferable, they could not claim the devotion to the Lord of their forebears.

More than that, in reality, God is no longer concerned about circumcision of the flesh. He is interested in the circumcision of the heart. “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.” The circumcision of the flesh does not make anyone to love, fear or obey the Lord. Therefore, in the new covenant better known as the New Testament era, “that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh” is not significant for one to have a relationship with God or prepare for eternity.”

The children of Israel were not conscious of the necessity and importance of heart circumcision, which was embedded in the old covenant (the Old Testament). While the circumcision of the flesh was only for the male children, the circumcision of the heart, which God does, is for everyone – male and female.

Fleshly circumcision does not lead to obeying the Lord, performing His will or committing ourselves to His commandment. The circumcision of the heart makes us to love God with our strength, obey “(His) voice… and to do all his commandments.”

The scripture is replete with the promises God has given for our heart circumcision. But before a person can possess heart circumcision he or she must have experienced genuine salvation with clear evidence. After becoming citizens of heaven, God circumcises “(our) heart, and the heart of (our) seed, to love (Him) with all (our) heart, and with all (our) soul.” This was a commandment as well as the promise that the Lord made to the children of Israel. He promises to “take the stony heart out of their flesh, and …give them an heart of flesh.”

In the fleshly circumcision, the foreskin of a male child is taken out with hands; but in heart circumcision, the stubborn and depraved heart is taken away “by the circumcision of Christ.” This operation enables the beneficiaries to have a soft and submissive heart.

It is heart circumcision that enthrones purity in our hearts that God readily acknowledges. Fleshly circumcision and outward conformity are not enough. God commands us to have “charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.” Christ purifies our hearts through His sacrifice on the cross at Calvary. He “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

There is the need to pray for heart circumcision. Despite the promise of heart circumcision, prayer is essential for its fulfilment in our lives. We must pray like the psalmist: “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Since God has promised us “a new heart and a new spirit” and He “is not a man, that he should lie,” there is a need to ask Him for the sanctification experience, which preserves us “blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Further reading (King James Version): Genesis 21:4; 17:10,14; Deuteronomy 30:6; Romans 2:28,29. Deuteronomy 30:6-8. Deuteronomy 30:6; Ezekiel 11:19,20; 36:25,26; Colossians 2:11. Matthew 5:8; Acts 15:9; 1 Timothy 1:5; Titus 2:14. Psalm 51:6,7,10; Ezekiel 36:26,37; 1 Thessalonians 5:22,23.