The Sign of Circumcision: And now we must carry a little further the study of the seal of the covenant, namely, circumcision. What does it signify, and what is it in reality? We have learned that it signifies righteousness by faith. It was given to Abraham as a token of the possession of such righteousness, or, as an assurance that he was “accepted in the Beloved, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” Eph. 1:6, 7. What circumcision really is, may be learned from the following Scripture : — “For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law; but if thou be a breaker of the law thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision, which is by nature, if it fulfill the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” Rom. 2:25-29.
“But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7 NASB. This text is so true. This is looking at the truth in a different way. We need to contemplate what this means, it is so important! Those who are walking in the light as God is the light will not be thinking that they do not need to be too concerned about their behavior or whether they are free from all enslavement and entanglement with the sins and things of this world. Many surround themselves with preachers and others who believe that they do not need to be concerned very much about their behavior or entanglement with sin and the things of this world, and little mention is made of the sinner’s need of walking in the Light of God, to repent and have a change made in them. And others think that they believe in ‘the truth’ while they are not walking in the Light and have not His abiding presence in their heart. It is every Christian’s privilege to choose to walk in the Light as God is the Light, whether they will listen to His sweet Spirit when He whispers to their heart or not.
Since faith is the depending upon the word of God only, for what that word says, being justified by faith is simply being accounted righteous by depending upon the word only. And since the word is the word of God, dependence upon the word only is dependence upon God only, in the word. Justification by faith, then, is justification -- being accounted righteous by dependence upon God only, and upon him only because he has promised.
THE one object in all our Bible study should be, not to establish theories, but to feed upon the living word. And it seems especially desirable to call attention to this principle when a large number of us who are accustomed to teaching the word come together to make a special study of it. Hence the principle should not be to learn some theory which we can tell to others, but to obtain a life which may be lived before others; and this will be the purpose in our study of the word, - simply to feed upon the word which is Spirit and which is life. And this will be the case, no matter what special phase of truth we may study. Our whole purpose will be to break the bread of life so that we may together feed upon it. The subject which we will consider together, for a time at least, during this Institute may perhaps be designated as the Divine-Human Family.
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