Reason # 13 – To Abolish Circumcision and All the Rituals as the Basis of Salvation
The very meaning of the suffering and death of Christ was at stake. Was faith in Christ enough to put us right with God? Or was circumcision necessary too?
The cross means freedom from the enslavement of ritual.
For Jewish men in the first century, circumcision was a much larger cultural issue than it is today. It identified you as a member of the people of Israel — the people of God.
But justification through faith, and membership into God’s family, was a major culture shift for the Jewish men. Now you could be a “child of God” without circumcision. We see how important this issue became when a conference was called in Jerusalem.
I can only hope it was called either “Together for Circumcision” or “The Desiring Circumcision National Conference”. Somehow, I doubt that, though.
Anyway, Paul laid it out in Acts 15: 5-12 – Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone.
This is just another reminder that we can’t work our way to heaven. Jesus’ death on the cross made it oh so simple – repent and believe – yet we sometimes try to make it oh so difficult.
Note – I thought about adding a pic to this post, but I didn’t want to risk a Google image search for “circumcision”