My Second-Ever Post About Circumcision

Thursday, August 04, 2011
So, it occurred to me that many of the younger guys at Next Level may be wondering about the LOOK I mentioned in my previous post - that unique LOOK that women give their men when their men done done wrong.

It hit me that these guys may be wondering "Do I ever get the LOOK?", "Have I ever done anything to deserve the LOOK?", "How would I know the LOOK if I saw it?".

In order, yes, absolutely yes, and let me tell you...

The LOOK i always accompanied by three things:
1. Slightly pursed lips.
2. An ever-so-subtle shaking of the head.
3. The slight narrowing of the eyes.

Now, you see, yes?

One more thing to remember. When you get the LOOK there is approximately a 99.8743% chance that you deserve it.

Respond accordingly, lads.

So, anyway, circumcision.

It was a big deal in the Old Testament. In addition to the cleanliness value in a pre-daily-shower culture, circumcision served to uniquely identify the Jewish people as set apart, as God's chosen people. Both the ritual and the result served as a lifelong reminder that the people of Israel had been given a unique blessing and a unique responsibility to honor God in the world and to be the people from whom God's own Son would come.

Circumcision became a major point of contention in the New Testament. As the new Christian movement dealt with its inextricably Jewish roots there was a pitched battle over whether or not non-Jewish Christians must be circumcised. Paul spilled a lot of ink on this topic, arguing with passion that as important as physical circumcision WAS, now the only dividing line is a relationship with Christ himself. Circumcision has moved from a physical to a spiritual significance.

That's what he is saying in Colossians 2:11, when he makes this incredible statement:

"When you came to Christ, you were 'circumcised', but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision -the cutting away of your sinful nature".

Amazing thought. Just as physical circumcision involves a cutting - let's not dwell on that - spiritual circumcision involves cutting too. Christ's sacrifice for sin - his self-giving, his allowing himself to be battered and bloodied for us - was so potent that we are cut off from our "sinful nature", our capacity to put other things in the place of God.

Christ's death on the Cross did not make it possible for us to live lives pleasing to God - it did way more than that. It actually accomplished the task of renewing our hearts and minds. It cut us off from our sinful nature.

So, that's my position. And it remains so. Unless I choose to take up my sinful nature and nurture it.

Now, why would I want to do that?

That thing you are struggling with. That attitude, habit, pattern of behaving or thinking that you know displeases God and clouds your vision of him. That thing.

Remind yourself today that its power has been cut off in your life. It's dead.

Lean into and live out of that reality!

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