I personally believe that the success of any missionary endeavor can be measured by the degree that nationals on any mission field are themselves fulfilling the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. For this goal of
Our present-day culture can be described as a comfort-at-any-cost society. In this environment, things such as affliction, pain, persecution, and other forms of suffering are viewed as obstacles and enemies. Missionaries are not immune from
Millions of professing Christians waiver, when confronted with the need to follow Christ whole-heartedly. Millions more excuse themselves by saying, “I am thinking about it. Perhaps one day I will decide.” The latter group is
“Cutting around. This rite, practised before, as some think, by” “divers races, was appointed by God to be the special badge of” “his chosen people, an abiding sign of their consecration to him.” “It was established as a national ordinance (Gen. 17:10, 11). In” “compliance with the divine command, Abraham, though ninety-nine” “years of age, was circumcised on the same day with Ishmael, who” “was thirteen years old (17:24-27). Slaves, whether home-born or” “purchased, were circumcised (17:12, 13); and all foreigners must” have their males circumcised before they could enjoy the privileges of Jewish citizenship (Ex. 12:48). During the journey “through the wilderness, the practice of circumcision fell into” “disuse, but was resumed by the command of Joshua before they” entered the Promised Land (Josh. 5:2-9). It was observed always “afterwards among the tribes of israel, although it is not” expressly mentioned from the time of the settlement in Canaan “till the time of Christ, about 1,450 years. The Jews prided” themselves in the possession of this covenant distinction (Judg. 14:3; 15:18; 1 Sam. 14:6; 17:26; 2 Sam. 1:20; Ezek. 31:18). “As a rite of the church it ceased when the New Testament times began (Gal. 6:15; Col. 3:11). Some Jewish Christians sought to “impose it, however, on the Gentile converts; but this the” apostles resolutely resisted (Acts 15:1; Gal. 6:12). Our Lord “was circumcised, for it “became him to fulfil all” “righteousness,” as of the seed of Abraham, according to the” “flesh; and Paul “took and circumcised” Timothy (Acts 16:3), to” avoid giving offence to the Jews. It would render Timothy’s labours more acceptable to the Jews. But Paul would by no means consent to the demand that Titus should be circumcised (Gal. 2:3-5). The great point for which he contended was the free admission of uncircumcised Gentiles into the church. He “contended successfully in behalf of Titus, even in Jerusalem.” “In the Old Testament a spiritual idea is attached to circumcision. It was the symbol of purity (Isa. 52:1). We read “of uncircumcised lips (Ex. 6:12, 30), ears (Jer. 6:10), hearts” (Lev. 26:41). The fruit of a tree that is unclean is spoken of as uncircumcised (Lev. 19:23). “It was a sign and seal of the covenant of grace as well as of the national covenant between God and the Hebrews. (1.) It “sealed the promises made to Abraham, which related to the” “commonwealth of Israel, national promises. (2.) But the promises” “made to Abraham included the promise of redemption (Gal. 3:14),” a promise which has come upon us. The covenant with Abraham was “a dispensation or a specific form of the covenant of grace, and” circumcision was a sign and seal of that covenant. It had a “spiritual meaning. It signified purification of the heart,” inward circumcision effected by the Spirit (Deut. 10:16; 30:6; Ezek. 44:7; Acts 7:51; Rom. 2:28; Col. 2:11). Circumcision as a symbol shadowing forth sanctification by the Holy Spirit has now given way to the symbol of baptism (q.v.). But the truth “embodied in both ordinances is ever the same, the removal of” “sin, the sanctifying effects of grace in the heart.” “Under the Jewish dispensation, church and state were identical. No one could be a member of the one without also being a member of the other. Circumcision was a sign and seal of membership in both. Every circumcised person bore thereby evidence that he was “one of the chosen people, a member of the church of God as it” “then existed, and consequently also a member of the Jewish” commonwealth.
Posted by webmaster on Thursday, October 26th, 2017 @ 12:13PM