Scriptural benefits for Circumcision of gentile Christians

According to the law, God instituted circumcision to Abraham as a sign. It is repeated in the law as well. Today, everyone who is Jewish will be circumcised. Circumcision also have medical benefits. Since the law was never given to gentiles, there is no requirement for any gentile Christian to get circumcised. In this post, we will explore what the Scriptures has to say about the benefits for a gentile getting circumcised.

Part of Abraham’s household

Gen 17:10-12,14 This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you. And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a [servant] who is born in the house or who is bought with money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants. … And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant. … (26-27) That very same day Abraham was circumcised, and his son Ishmael; and all the men of his house, born in the house or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.

The first benefit of getting circumcised for God is that, you become part of the household of Abraham. While a gentile cannot become a descendant of Abraham, they do become part of Abraham’s household.

Can keep the Passover

Exod 12:43-49 And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover: No foreigner shall eat it. But every man’s servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then he may eat it. A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat it. In one house it shall be eaten; you shall not carry any of the flesh outside the house, nor shall you break one of its bones. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it. One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you.”

All gentiles who are not Israelites can keep the Passover of the LORD if they are circumcised. Hence, circumcision provides a privilege of keeping the Passover to the LORD while uncircumcised Christian gentiles cannot.

As a native of Israel

Exod 12:43-49 And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover: No foreigner shall eat it. But every man’s servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then he may eat it. A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat it. In one house it shall be eaten; you shall not carry any of the flesh outside the house, nor shall you break one of its bones. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it. One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you.”

Apart from the privilege of keeping the Passover to the LORD, gentile Christians who are circumcised and accept YHWH as their God shall be as a native of the land of Israel. Gentiles are not going to have any part in the real-estate of Israel but rather, they shall be as an Israelite, as a native of Israel.

Can enter the Temple

Ezek 44:7 when you brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My sanctuary to profane it, even My house, when you offered My food, the fat and the blood; for they made My covenant void–this in addition to all your abominations. … (9) Thus says the Lord GOD, “No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, of all the foreigners who are among the sons of Israel, shall enter My sanctuary. (NASB)

Only the gentiles who are circumcised in heart and also circumcised in flesh can enter His Temple (or His sanctuary). Uncircumcised gentile Christians cannot enter His Temple (or Ezekiel’s Temple).

Isa 56:3a,6-7 Do not let the son of the foreigner Who has joined himself to the LORD Speak, saying, “The LORD has utterly separated me from His people”; …  the sons of the foreigner Who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, And to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants– Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And holds fast My covenant– Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.

Mark 11:17 Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’ ? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”

Further, when Jesus quoted prophet Isaiah saying, the Temple shall be called a house of prayer of all nations, it is not merely for all nations who come and pray, but particularly referring to the gentiles who are circumcised because they bind themselves to the LORD, to minister Him and follow the law. It is only because of circumcised gentiles, the Temple in Jerusalem was called a house of prayer for all nations.

Food for thought

Rev 21:24-27 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Ezek 44:7 “When you brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My sanctuary to defile it–My house–and when you offered My food, the fat and the blood, then they broke My covenant because of all your abominations.

Isa 52:1 Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Zion; Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city! For the uncircumcised and the unclean Shall no longer come to you.

If God declares that uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh can defile His house and nothing that defiles can enter New Jerusalem, can the uncircumcised gentile Christians enter New Jerusalem?

Luke 22:15-20 Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.

Exod 12:43-49 And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover: No foreigner shall eat it. But every man’s servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then he may eat it. A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat it. In one house it shall be eaten; you shall not carry any of the flesh outside the house, nor shall you break one of its bones. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it. One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you.”

If the Lord’s supper is actually referred as the Passover of the LORD, and only circumcised males can take part in the Passover of the LORD, how can the church call only a small part of the supper as Lord’s supper and then celebrate it with uncircumcised gentile Christians?

Conclusion

Acts 7:51 “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.

While circumcision of heart and ears are required for all Christians, circumcision of flesh is not mandatory for gentile Christians.  Having said that, circumcised gentile Christians are not without benefits in the Scriptures. All Christian gentiles who are circumcised for God of Israel become part of Abraham’s household, can keep the Passover of the LORD, be as a native of Israel and finally can enter Ezekiel’s third temple.