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Circumcision of Messiah

Nitzavim נצבים : “You are standing”
Torah : Deuteronomy 29:9Deuteronomy 29:9
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

9 Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do.  

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–30:20
Haftarah : Isaiah 61:10Isaiah 61:10
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. decketh: Heb. decketh as a priest  

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–63:9            
Gospel : Acts 19–20

Thought for the Week:

Judaism explains that when Messiah comes, God will circumcise our hearts by removing the evil inclination. In the scriptures, a circumcised heart is idiomatic for having a repentant heart, suppliant to the will of God. For example, in Deuteronomy 10:16Deuteronomy 10:16
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.  

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, Moses commanded the people, “Circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer.” The prophet Jeremiah tells Israel to repent from evil deeds, saying, “Circumcise yourselves to the LORD and remove the foreskins of your heart.” (Jeremiah 4:4Jeremiah 4:4
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.  

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) … before the high holidays, the season of repentance, we should beseech God to circumcise our hearts, removing our stubbornness and inspiring us to repent.

Commentary:

Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live. Deu 30:6Deu 30:6
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.  

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As Moses describes the final redemption to come, he tells Israel that God will circumcise their hearts. The metaphoric circumcision of the heart will enable them to completely fulfill the commandment of loving God and will grant them life—even eternal life. The Apostle Paul contrasts a circumcised proselyte to Judaism who does not keep the commandments against an uncircumcised believer who does keep the commandments:

So if the uncircumcised man keeps the requirements of the Torah, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? …For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God. (Romans 2:26, 28Romans 2:26, 28
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? 28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:  

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–29)

A prophecy from the book of Ezekiel echoes the sentiment in Deuteronomy 30:1Deuteronomy 30:1
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

30 1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,  

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–6 as the prophet describes how God will gather Israel together from the nations, purify them, circumcise their hearts and enable them to keep the Torah:

For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land …I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers. (Ezekiel 36:24Ezekiel 36:24
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.  

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–28)

The result of this circumcision of heart is obedience to God. Moses says that when God finally circumcises the heart of His people, they will “again obey the LORD, and observe all His commandments.”       (Deuteronomy 30:8Deuteronomy 30:8
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

8 And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.  

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) In other words, God is going to enable us to keep His Torah. He is going to set us free from sin and cause us to walk in righteousness. Keeping Torah is one of the promises of the Messianic age to come.             Paul explains that we who have become partakers of Messiah have already begun to enter the New Covenant and the circumcision of the heart. He calls it the “circumcision of Messiah” when he says, “in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Messiah.” (Colossians 2:11Colossians 2:11
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:  

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