Ironically this is one area that my understanding has changed on since my childhood, but not since I realized that things like clean/unclean, holy feast days, and 7th day sabbath still apply today. My understanding toward circumcision changed when I was pregnant with my first child.
The subject first came up with my mid-wife (who wasn’t really for it), then with my husband. My response was, “Of course we would get him circumcised, doesn’t the Bible say that we should? Isn’t that what Christians do?” to which my husband challenged me to prove that in the New Testament, so I began to study. Very quickly I saw that in the New Testament, Gentile believers were not to be circumcised, in fact Paul admonishes people to remain in the state they were in upon salvation through Messiah Yeshua. I realized that just because every little boy in any church nursery that I had ever worked in was circumcised, it wasn’t because we were supposed to, even if everyone thought that. I couldn’t have told you why it wasn’t for Gentiles, until now 🙂
There has been a passage that nagged me a little, and one that many use to convince people today that they must be circumcised, found in Exodus 12:43-49. It says that no foreigner is to eat of the Passover, but every man’s slave and the stranger that sojourns among Israel must be circumcised in order to partake. No uncircumcised person shall eat of it.
I knew what I had come to see in the NT was true, yet how did that mesh? And if circumcision was indeed required, why do we never see it as a requirement in the book of Acts or the Epistles? In fact, the only things you see when a person came to a saving belief in Messiah Yeshua is water baptism followed immediately by the baptism in the Holy Spirit, so where was circumcision? Why do we never see any Gentile believers being circumcised?
Because they weren’t foreigners any more! And neither are we!!
Ephesians 2:11-22 – in Messiah Yeshua we who were far off have been brought near by His blood, we are no longer strangers and aliens, but fellow citizens with the saints.
It is through baptism in the name of Yeshua- into His death, burial and resurrection- that Jew and Gentile heart’s are circumcised, which is what is truly required for Passover. Galatians makes it clear that circumcision in the flesh, joining with Israel that way, is not how we become heirs of promise, it is by grace through faith, spiritual, not natural.
“And if you belong to Messiah, then you are Abraham’s descendents, heirs according to promise.” Galatians 3:29