The Sign of the Covenant
“And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.” Genesis 17:9-14 (KJV).
This covenant sign is much more painful than the covenant sign Believer’s have during this day of grace.
“A confirmation to Abraham and his seed of those promises which were God’s part of the covenant, assuring them that they should be fulfilled, that in due time Canaan would be theirs: and the continuance of this ordinance, after Canaan was theirs, intimates that these promises looked further to another Canaan, which they must still be in expectation of. See Heb. 4:8.’ ‘An obligation upon Abraham and his seed to that duty which was their part of the covenant; not only to the duty of accepting the covenant and consenting to it, and putting away the corruption of the flesh (which were immediately and primarily signified by circumcision), but, in general, to the observance of all God’s commands, as they should be at any time hereafter be intimated and made known to them; for circumcision made men debtors to do the whole law, Gal. 5:3. Those who will have God to be to them a God must consent and resolve to be to him a people.” From the MATTHEW HENRY COMMENTARY on the whole Bible.
Though baptism is a token of salvation it does not save. It is the testimony of one’s salvation. One must be bold in one’s faith and the correct place to start is by submitting to God’s ordinances. To be disobedient we disregard God’s call and bring in shame (Luke 9:26 – “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.” Luke 9:26 (KJV). Lest we should forget we are reminded several times there is more.
“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:38 (KJV)
” It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.” 2 Timothy 2:11-13 (KJV).
With Abraham there was no doubt as to his identity. He was a man called of God. Yes, there were times he fell, but God picked him back up, cleaned him up, and calls him faithful. Failure for any of Abraham’s seed to be circumcised resulted in the broken covenant. The failure; of an individual who has recently confessed Jesus Christ as Savior; to be baptised as soon as possible is placing his/her confession in jeopardy of question, and most of all to the individual’s own heart and mind.
-by Tim A. Blankenship