Circumcision of heart, chapter 2

Feb 11, 2,020. God’s 11th Month, Sh‘vat 15, year 5,780

To: 23,536 family units, gifted with a desire to be atOne with God.

Dr. Luke addressed ’Acts of the apostles’ and ‘Gospel of Luke’ to one Theophilus. Only these two accounts name him. In those days knowledge about Israel’s restoration was rehearsed in the Synagogue each Sabbath; was the good news from their point of view then and now. (Luke quotes Jesus’ apostles asking, “Lord, is this the time when You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He told them, “You are not permitted to know the times or periods that the Father has set by His own authority. (8) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea, Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth.”) Jesus’ answer acknowledges God the Father’s kingdom plan is still in tact at His appointed time, but emphasizes the Holy Spirit’s imputation in this age before Israel’s restoration and power. Indeed God’s kingdom family began with “His New Covenant giving people ‘a circumcised heart’ ’a new nature’ which is ‘God in people’ making them temples of His Spirit.

Physical circumcision is the ‘cutting back of fleshly foreskin’ and always foreshadowed replacing a chosen people’s fleshly nature with Jesus’ spiritual nature. Paul understood and explained, (Rom 2:28-29; For a person is not a Jew ‘Christian’ who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision something that is outward in the flesh, but someone is a Jew ‘Christian’ who is one inwardly and circumcision is of the heart by the Spirit and not by the written code. This person’s praise is not from people but from God.)

Remember God doesn’t change and while prophesying about Israel’s future had Moses write; (Lev 26;40-42; However, when they confess their iniquity and their ancestors’ iniquity which they committed by trespassing against Me, by which they also walked in hostility against Me (and I myself will walk in hostility against them and bring them into the land of their enemies) and then their uncircumcised hearts become humbled and they make up for their iniquity, I will remember My covenant with Jacob and also My covenant with Isaac and also My covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land.”)

Jesus’ apostles and Judaism today are still expecting another deliverance likened to the one from Egypt. (Always study the whole.) Genuine followers of Jesus are about the business of “putting on Jesus” “being clothed and immersed in Jesus” having God’s praise.

(Deut 10:14-18; The heavens — indeed the highest heavens — belong to the LORD your God, as does the earth and everything in it. However, only to your ancestors did He show his loving favor, and He chose you, their descendants, from all peoples — as is apparent today. Therefore, cleanse ‘circumcise the foresking of’ your heart’ and stop being so stubborn!  For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, mighty, and awesome God who is unbiased and takes no bribe, who justly treats the orphan and widow, and who loves resident foreigners, giving them food and clothing.)

Though commanded in Moses’ day, “spiritually cleansing the heart became possible through Jesus’” after His ascension and the inception of His Life. Jesus revealed through Jeremiah.

(Jeremiah 4:4; Just as ritual circumcision cuts away the foreskin as an external symbol of dedicated covenant commitment, you ’Israelites’ must genuinely dedicate yourselves to the LORD and get rid of everything that hinders your commitment to Me, people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. If you do not, My anger will blaze up like a flaming fire against you that no one will be able to extinguish. That will happen because of the evil you have done.”)

Now through the imputation of the Holy Spirit’s energizing, “believers in Jesus’ shed blood for the remission of sins, makes it’s recipients genuinely dedicated to and ‘at One with God.’ (Circumcision of heart is to be rid of everything that hinders worshiping God in spirit and truth.)

(Ezekiel 44:9;This is what the sovereign LORD says: No foreigner, who is uncircumcised in heart and flesh among all the foreigners who are among the people of Israel, will enter into My sanctuary.)

God’s New Covenant in this age is with a selected called out people of promise as was Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who are made aware that they are at One with God.

Abraham’s believing God was credited for righteousness before the covenant of circumcision and the law. Paul explained.

(Rom 4:7-12; “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the one against whom the Lord will never count sin.” (9) Is this blessedness then for the circumcision or also for the uncircumcision? For we say, “faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.” How then was it credited to him? Was he circumcised at the time, or not? No, he was not circumcised but uncircumcised! (11) And he received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised, so that he would become the father of all those who believe but have never been circumcised, that they too could have righteousness credited to them. And he is also the father of the circumcised, who are not only circumcised, but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham possessed when he was still uncircumcised.

The Promise Realized Through Faith

(Rom 4:13-16; For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would inherit the world was not fulfilled through the law, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. For if they become heirs by the law, faith is empty and the promise is nullified.  For the law brings wrath, because where there is no law there is no transgression either. For this reason it is by faith so that it may be by grace, with the result that the promise may be certain to all the descendants — not only to those who are under the law, but also to those who have the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.

(Ultimately all promises to Abraham will be kept and his descendants will inherit the world.)

(Rom 4:17-25; (as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”.) (See Gen 17:5) He is our father in the presence of God whom he believed — the God who makes the dead alive and summons the things that do not yet exist as though they already do. Against hope Abraham believed in hope with the result that he became the father of many nations according to the pronouncement, “so will your descendants be.”  Without being weak in faith, he considered his own body as dead (because he was about one hundred years old) and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.  He did not waver in unbelief about the promise of God but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God. (20) He was fully convinced that what God promised he was also able to do. So indeed it was credited to Abraham as righteousness. But the statement it was credited to him was not written only for Abraham’s sake, but also for our sake, to whom it will be credited, those who believe in the One who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He ‘Jesus’ was given over because of our transgressions and was raised for the sake of our justification.”)

Hostile minds cause people to take sides on the issue of law and grace.

(Rom 6:15-23; What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Absolutely not! Do you not know that if you present yourselves as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves to sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were entrusted to, and having been freed from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. (I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh.) For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.  For when you were slaves of sin, you were free with regard to righteousness.

Rom 6:21  So what benefit did you then reap from those things that you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. But now, freed from sin and enslaved to God, you have your benefit leading to sanctification, and the end is eternal life. For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”)

Jesus’ ascension recorded by Luke.

(Acts of the apostles 1:1-4; “I wrote the former account, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach until the day He was taken up to heaven, after He had given orders by the Holy Spirit to the apostles He had chosen. To the same apostles also, after His suffering, He presented Himself alive with many convincing proofs. He was seen by them over a forty-day period and spoke about matters concerning the kingdom of God. (4) While He was with them, He declared, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait there for what My Father promised, which you heard about from Me.

(Acts 1:5-11; For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” So when they had gathered together, they began to ask Him, “Lord, is this the time when you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He told them, “You are not permitted to know the times or periods that the Father has set by His own authority. (8) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth.” After He had said this, while they were watching, He was lifted up and a cloud hid Him from their sight. As they were still staring into the sky while He was going, suddenly two men in white clothing stood near them and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up into the sky? This same Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come back in the same way you saw Him go into heaven.”)

“During forty days?” The phrase “over a forty-day period” is used rather than “during forty days” because (as the other New Testament accounts of Jesus’ appearances make clear) Jesus was not continually visible to the apostles during the forty days, but appeared to them on various occasions.” Seemingly Jesus ascended about seven to ten days before Pentecost.

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