Open Bible"Sanctify them by thy truth. Thy word is truth" (John 17:17).
Ocean View

Why is the Doctrine of Sanctification as it Applies to the Circumcision of the Heart so Vital to the Christian Experience?

“In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ” (Colossians 2:11).
 
Sanctification is one of the most misunderstood doctrines in the Bible, and in particular as it applies to the circumcision of the sin nature of man. In reference to the above verse, Marvin R. Vincent describes this circumcision as “to strip off from one’s self, as clothes or armor; having the force of getting out of one’s garments. There is added to the idea of getting out of one’s clothes that of getting away from them; so that the word is a strong expression for wholly putting away from one’s self.” “The fleshly circumcision removed only a portion of the body. In spiritual circumcision, through Christ, the whole corrupt, carnal nature is put away like a garment which is taken off and laid aside.” As to the flesh he says, “flesh having its moral sense of that material part which is the seat and organ of sin, ‘the flesh with its passions and lusts.’” (Vincent’s Word Studies Volume 3: The Epistles of Paul).
 
This circumcision is not the work of man but of Christ. It is a work of grace by faith that results in the cutting off of the sin nature so as to deliver us from the dominion of sin in a real and practical way. Only then are we “free indeed” to walk in righteousness and reveal the glory of God. This work was symbolized in the Old Testament by physical circumcision. Through this act, the Israelites entered into covenant relationship with the Lord and circumcision became the sign of this covenant. The sin nature is passed down from generation to generation through the seed of Adam. So it is only fitting that the deliverance from this sin nature would be symbolized by the circumcision of the foreskin of the sex organ through which the seed is passed.
 
This is the real crux of the New Covenant in Christ - the deliverance from the power of sin residing in our hearts. This is the principal difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant and yet the church has failed to understand it and embrace it. Which gives rise to the question, is it really that important to our Christian experience? Considering that the majority of the scriptures throughout the entire Bible are connected to this very issue, it is incumbent upon us to know why.
 
The significance of circumcision can be seen in the multitude of warnings about sin that are given to Christians in the New Testament. The fact that we have ignored or glossed over these warnings in scripture does not take away from their importance. The Bible could not be any clearer concerning the danger of not fully appreciating the power and eternal effects of sin. Over and over believers are exhorted not to be deceived concerning sin or our attitude towards it. Unfortunately, this deception has pervaded the body of Christ anyway. It has taken many forms most of which have become strongholds in the minds of men backed by the power of Satan. These strongholds are founded on the false and deceptive ideas about sin such as the following: “It is impossible to be free from sin until we get to heaven.” “We will have to battle with the sin nature the rest of our lives.” “We are not under law but under grace so God excuses our sin.” “God understands our weakness to sin because we are just human.” “Nobody is perfect.” “When we got saved God forgave our future sins so it doesn’t matter how we live.” “There’s nothing we can do about sin.” These false ideas are used to justify a sinful life. As a result we have grown comfortable with sin. We have no real fear of God in the church. We don’t really believe that there are consequences for our sin. We have accepted sin as the normal Christian lifestyle. We don’t take the commandments of God seriously. And most dangerous of all, we have minimized the detrimental effects of sin both to ourselves individually and to the body of Christ as a whole. When we look at some of the warnings in scripture concerning the deception of sin, we can see that they are based on these very attitudes about sin.
 
“Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:7-10).
 
What is the deception that John is talking about? That we don’t have to practice righteousness to be righteous! He is addressing Christians, particularly those who believe that positional righteousness is enough, that we don’t have to live a righteous life before God. We’re under grace so we can live as we please. It is alright to continue in a life of sin as a Christian. Sin is a normal Christian lifestyle. John then goes on to explain that having this attitude is to fail to recognize the seriousness of sin as well as failing to understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what He came to do. When we settle for a positional righteousness rather than a practical walk of righteousness, we misrepresent the very nature and character of God and instead manifest the nature of the devil who is the father of sin. He reveals the danger of this thinking and reminds us that we will be known for our fruit – he who practices righteousness is of God and he who practices unrighteousness is of the devil. John not only exposes this deceptive attitude, but he makes it very clear that we are to live free from habitual sin. This is why Jesus was manifested, to destroy the works of the devil. The work of the devil is sin, both in act and principle.
 
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Galatians 6:7,8).
 
Again, the deception is that it is alright to sin, that God understands. It is failing to see the serious consequences of our sin. Paul says we are deceived if we think that God just overlooks our sin and chalks it up to the fact that “we’re just human.” To have this attitude is to fail to really understand God. It is to mock God, to turn your nose up at Him. Paul warns us that how we live will determine our fate. If we live to fulfill the lusts of our flesh we will reap corruption but if we live to please the Spirit we will reap everlasting life. He contrasts corruption with everlasting life thereby defining corruption as spiritual death. “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6).
 
“No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:8-10).
 
Paul is talking to Christians here. He is rebuking them for cheating their brethren. The deception is thinking that Christians can live in unrighteousness and still inherit the kingdom of God. (See 1 John 3:7-9 above). We tend to gloss over scriptures like this attributing them to unbelievers. But these scriptures are directed at believers because the unbelievers will not be judged for these sins but for rejecting Jesus Christ. Paul gives a similar warning in Ephesians:
 
“But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them” (Ephesians 5:3-7).
 
Paul again warns Christians that those who continue in sin will not inherit the kingdom of God. Here the deception is believing others that it is alright. How many times do we try to justify our own sin because another Christian is doing the same thing or because some pastor or teacher has taught that sin is normal and acceptable? We were warned of men like this. “But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13). They are deceived concerning sin and they deceive others. Misery loves company. Paul reiterates that God will not be mocked. The wages of sin is death. He will pour out His wrath on all disobedience including that of Christians no matter how many people are doing it. If we partner in the sin of others, Christian or not, we will also partner in their punishment.
 
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22). The deception is hearing the word of God and not putting it into practice through obedience. We are deceived if we take the commandments of God lightly. We are deceived if we think it is acceptable to just go to church and listen to the word without applying it to our lives. All disobedience is sin whether it is the sin of commission or the sin of omission.
 
I hope by now that you see the correlation of sin and deception. You will discover that nearly every scripture in the New Testament that speaks of deception does so in the context of wrong thinking and acting about sin. This is why it is called the deceitfulness of sin – it tricks people into a wrong conception of sin. When we embrace this wrong idea about sin, we also embrace a wrong idea about Christ and what He did on the cross. Because we are deceived into believing that we have to sin, that sin is normal, that God understands, that nobody is perfect, that we will not be judged for our unconfessed sin, etc. we are also deceived concerning the power of Christ to deliver us from the sin nature and its power over our lives. Notice what Paul says to the Thessalonians:
 
“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).
 
Paul is revealing how Satan works. He uses unrighteous deception, even false signs and wonders, against those who do not have a love of the truth. Remember, to love God and therefore to love truth is to obey it. To disobey the word of God is to reject truth. Here he likens loving the truth to believing the truth because faith is manifested in obedience. The delusion or deception works through the pleasure in unrighteousness or sin. Where does this pleasure in unrighteousness come from? The passions and lusts of the flesh. The reason that Christians can be deceived by Satan is that they have not received the truth that sets us free from the power of sin by the circumcision of the flesh. When we reject the truth we will believe the lie. What is the lie? “Who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen” (Romans 1:25). The lie is worshiping and serving the carnal self rather than God. We exchange our worship and service of God with the worship and service of self. As Paul says, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5). Without realizing it, we turn our worship from God to Satan. (Go back and look at 1 John 3:7-10 again). The result will be condemnation.
 
To worship and serve the creature or self is pride. It is to live according to the lusts of the flesh thereby worshiping Satan who is the author of the lust. This is why Satan is the deceiver and the father of sin. He uses the deceitfulness of sin to ensnare Christians for his own worship. We partner with him in his sin. This leads us to the real danger of failing to see the vital importance of circumcision and appropriating it for ourselves. Remember, Satan’s ultimate goal is to turn us away from God so that he can capture us for himself. He wants to be worshiped and served in the place of God. He uses the deceitfulness of sin to do this. He operates today the same way he has been operating since the beginning of creation.
 
“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’” And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, “'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate” (Genesis 3:1-6).
 
The first thing Satan did was to get Eve to question God’s commandment. ‘Has God indeed said, “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’ He ensnares a lot of Christians right here. You would be amazed at how indignant, defensive, disbelieving, or even enraged people get when they are told that God commands us not to sin or have sin in our lives. They read the scriptures with filtered eye glasses seeing only what they want to see. They don’t take the word of God seriously, at least not its application to themselves.
 
The next thing Satan did was to call into question the meaning of God’s commandment. ‘You will not surely die.’ If he didn’t get you with the first deception, he will get you here. He gets you to question the seriousness of God’s commandment. He didn’t really mean you would die. God understands our weakness. Satan minimizes the consequences of our sin.  
 
Satan then throws in the clincher. He makes sin okay, and more than that, even desirable.  For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. He has a way of making sin look just good enough to justify our yielding to it. Satan has a way of making sin seem acceptable and even desirable. He makes us comfortable with it so that we can justify it to ourselves and those around us. The first thing a Christian will always do when confronted with their sin is to try and justify it (that is, if covering it up won’t work).
 
“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. . . And He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?’ Then the man said, ‘The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.’ And the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’” (Genesis 3:7, 11-13).
 
Again, Satan still works the same way today to get us to sin and become his children (see 1 John  3:7-10). He deceives us by getting us to question the word of God and not take it seriously; getting us to minimize the consequences of our sin; and getting us to see sin as acceptable and even desirable. We question the fact that God commands us not to sin. We reject the notion that sin will bring spiritual death. And we have grown so comfortable with sin that we accept it as being part of the normal Christian experience. All of this leads us to ignore, misinterpret, or outright reject the truth of circumcision and the deliverance from the power of sin. Therefore, we are deceived into remaining in bondage to sin and thereby to Satan. As Isaiah put it, “Therefore My people go into captivity [to their enemies] without knowing it and because they have no knowledge [of God]” (Isaiah 5:13 Amplified).
 
When we look at this more closely we can see exactly how Satan works through the deception of sin to draw away the hearts of men and capture them for his own purpose.
 
“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:12,13).
 
Jeremiah defines this evil heart as a heart of stubbornness, a heart that will not listen to and obey God. “And you have done worse than your fathers, for behold, each one follows the dictates of his own evil heart, so that no one listens to Me” (Jeremiah 16:12). This sounds just like the carnal nature Paul describes in Romans. “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be” (Romans 8:7). So departing from God is likened to disobeying God.
 
Here we see the real danger of having a wrong attitude about sin in our lives. The deceitfulness of sin hardens the heart resulting in unbelief. As faith is to obedience, so is unbelief to disobedience. Notice what James said: “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22). “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:17). Faith that is not manifested in obedience is dead, it is unbelief. Unbelief then causes us to depart from God through disobedience. Isaiah puts it this way: “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). This is what James was talking about in his epistle.
 
“But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:14,15 NIV).
 
As long as the sin nature remains, there is an evil desire in our heart. “And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24). When temptation comes, it entices the evil desire of the heart. Conception takes place when the evil desire of the heart yields or joins itself to the deceptive temptation. This conception then gives birth to acts of sin which in turn produce spiritual death. Paul tells us that this process causes the conscience to be seared as with a hot iron. “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron” (1 Timothy 4:1,2). To depart from the faith is to depart from God. The departure is due to yielding to deceptive temptation (the deceitfulness of sin). The result is sin which sears the conscience or hardens the heart and eventually brings us to a place where there is no more repentance. We no longer sense the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Our hearts will no longer yield to God. And notice who is behind this whole process – deceiving spirits and demons. As we saw above, Satan is still using the same deception of sin to get us to depart from the faith and come over to his camp.
 
This departure from God begins with broken fellowship. Sin severs our vital intimacy with God because God cannot fellowship or have communion with sin or idolatry (see 2 Corinthians 6:14-16). The longer our intimacy with God is severed, the harder our heart becomes toward God and eventually it leads to a spiritual departure from God or apostasy. This is the deception of the devil, “You will not surely die.” We develop an attitude that our sin doesn’t make that big of a deal but the truth is that it leads to spiritual death. As Jeremiah put it: “O Lord, the Hope of Israel, all who forsake You shall be put to shame. They who depart from You and me [Your prophet] shall [disappear like] writing upon the ground, because they have forsaken the Lord, the Fountain of living waters” (Jeremiah 17:13 Amplified).
 
Notice what Jesus said about the last days.
 
“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:11,12).
 
Notice again how the deception is about sin - lawlessness will abound. John said, “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness” (1 John  3:4). The word lawless means to be without law. As it applies to Christians, it means to be without the headship of Christ. More precisely, it means we are not submitted to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Lawlessness or sin causes our love to grow cold. He is talking about Christians here. The word for love is agape and we know that no unbeliever can have the love of God. Jesus is warning us that in the last days many false prophets would rise up to deceive Christians concerning their attitude towards sin which in turn would lead to lawlessness in the  body of Christ resulting in a cold love toward God. To have a cold love is to depart from God. There is no intimacy, no real fellowship and communion, no devotion nor desire. “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). Notice how he ties lawlessness in with unbelief as we saw in Hebrews above. Paul tells us that this lawlessness becomes a downward spiral from lawlessness to more lawlessness.
 
“I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness” (Romans 6:19).
 
This exactly what Satan wants. This is why we see the antichrist coming the way he does:
 
“For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:7-10).
 
The mystery of lawlessness is already at work! The spirit of antichrist is already working in the church! Satan has already deceived multitudes of ‘Christian leaders’ who are being used to do his will by deceiving others in the body of Christ to walk in the  ways of lawlessness because they do not have a love for the truth that will set them free. When we understand this, we can understand why Jesus spoke the way He did about His own people.
 
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall” (Matthew 7:21-27).
 
“The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:41,42).
 
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matthew 23:27,28).
 
Jesus tells us here that the lawlessness is inside, rooted in the heart. This lines up with what Paul teaches us in Romans. “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:7,8). To be “not subject to the law of God” is to be lawless or without law. The result is enmity or separation from God. This is unbelief which cannot please God. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
 
We must understand that salvation is rooted in an ongoing faith in Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, the English translation of the scripture doesn’t bring this out very clearly. When the scripture speaks of believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, it almost always uses the Greek present tense which means a continuous or habitual action. For example:
 
“He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36).
 
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).
 
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life” (John 6:47).
 
In each of these cases, the word believe is in the present tense meaning to believe and keep on believing. It is not a one time act of faith but rather a continuous habit of faith in Christ that saves a person. If you stop believing you stop being saved. This is brought out even more clearly in John 10:
 
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:27,28).
 
In this case, the words hear, know, follow, and give, are all in the present tense. Correctly translated, this verse says, “My sheep hear and keep on hearing My voice, and I know and keep on knowing them, and they follow and keep on following Me. And I give and keep on giving them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”
 
The continuous giving of eternal life is based on our continuous hearing, knowing, and following Christ. When we allow sin to remain in our hearts by not appropriating the sanctifying work of Christ to circumcise or cut it off, that carnal nature will drive us to commit acts of sin or lawlessness leading to a hardening of the heart in unbelief. The love of God grows cold and we depart from the living God. We no longer hear His voice or follow Him. We lose that intimacy and fellowship with Him and are brought to a place where Jesus declares, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ This is why Peter says, “who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). We are kept by the power of God based on our continuous faith. When we stop believing, we stop being kept.
 
When the scriptures declare to us, “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), it is being very serious. Sin kills the life of Christ in us by separating us from that life. We must remember that the life is in Christ and we only have and enjoy that life as we remain vitally united to Christ. When we are separated from Christ, we are also separated from the life that is in Him. Notice what Paul says about the true effects of sin:
 
“I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me” (Romans 7:9-11).
 
“Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful” (Romans 7:13).
 
Now we know that Paul did not physically die, so what is he talking about here? Sin produces spiritual death! John tells us the same thing in his epistle.
 
“If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death [Amplified – the extinguishing of life], he will ask, and He will give him life [zoe – eternal life] for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that” (1 John 5:16).
 
Again, he is speaking here about spiritual death. Greek scholar Marvin Vincent says of this verse, “that the sin unto death does not refer to a specific act, but to a class or species of sins, the tendency of which is to cut the bond of fellowship with Christ. Hence the passage is in the key-note of fellowship which pervades the Epistle. Whatever breaks the fellowship between the soul and Christ, and, by consequence, between the individual and the body of believers, is unto death, for there is no life apart from Christ.” (Vincent’s Word Studies Vol. 2: The Writings of John).
 
The carnal man is a man of lawlessness or sin. As long as he is allowed to remain alive within us, he will continue to entice us to commit acts of sin. Those acts of sin will continue to produce spiritual death hardening the heart in unbelief causing the love of God to grow cold leading us to depart from God. Our departure from God will result in eternal separation from God. Jesus warned us of this process:
 
“Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed’” (John 8:34-36).
 
Habitual sin is slavery and a slave of sin shall not remain in the house of God forever. Sooner or later your sin will cause you to depart from God. This is why it is essential that the body of Christ understand the work of sanctification and the circumcision of the heart. Jesus came to set us free from the power of sin in order to make us sons who remain in the house. He sets us free by circumcising the nature of sin from our hearts thereby removing the source of lawlessness. “Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14). When we are delivered from the power of sin we are at the same time brought into a vital consecration to God. “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life” (Romans 6:22). Our deliverance from the principle of sin brings us into a practical righteousness which results in an abiding union with Christ. Our consecration or devotion to God keeps us in fellowship and communion with Him and thereby the life found in Him. It all works together to produce a continuous growth pattern in our life. As Paul put it, “For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to more faith [disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith]. As it is written, The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17 Amplified). As we walk with God our faith continually increases and we are kept by the power of God. “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). This is the importance of circumcision to the Christian experience.

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