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DIFFERENCES IN CIRCUMCISION AND BAPTISM


  In Genesis 17:9-14 God ordained the command of circumcision when
Abraham was 99 years old. In Lev. 12:2 it was continued in the Law of
Moses. Under Christ neither circumcision avails anything nor 
uncircumcision but faith that works by love (Gal. 5:6). Many people 
feel that circumcision was a type of baptism but this is not a true 
analysis. In this article we will notice the differences in 
circumcision and baptism. 

  1. Circumcision was for males only (Gen. 17:10), while baptism is
     for male and female (Gal. 3:26-29). In Acts 5:14 we are told that 
     the number of believers multiplied multitudes both of men and 
     women. In Acts 16:14, 15 we have the record of Lydia’s conversion 
     including her baptism. There is no likeness between circumcision
     and baptism.

  2. Infant boys eight days old were circumcised while baptism is for
     those who can be taught and who believe (Mk. 16:15, 16; Mat. 28:19).
     An eight-day-old child could not be taught nor have the capabilities
     of believing while that young. Those who contend for circumcision 
     and baptism being type and antitype want to bring in infant
     baptism as a likeness of circumcision. This will not work because
     the little eight day old infant is neither a subject for teaching
     nor of believing. 

  3. There was no connection  between being circumcised and forgiveness
     of sins. However if people will repent and be baptized they are 
     promised the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). Some say the word 
     "for” in Acts 2:38 means because of the remission of sins but this
     is not so. In Mat 26:28 Jesus said “this my blood of the New 
     Testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Did
     Jesus shed his blood because sins were already forgiven? No, He
     shed his blood in order for people’s sins to be remitted. In 
     like manner we are to repent and be baptized in order for our 
     sins to be remitted. This is certainly not like circumcision.

  4. Circumcision was administered to those who had not the capacity
     to believe while baptism can only be administered to believers 
     (Mk. 16:16). 

  5. Circumcision was administered to those who did not repent but 
     baptism can only be administered to repenting people (Acts 2:38).

  6. Circumcision to an eight day old male child who could not even 
     talk is not like baptism which in administered to those who with
     the mouth make confession unto salvation (Acts 8:36-38).

  7. Circumcision is called a token of the covenant but Baptism is 
     never called a token. Baptism is essential to salvation. 

  8. Circumcision was the means of entering into the covenant made 
     with Abraham. Baptism is in addition to salvation the step taken
     to enter into the church of Christ (I Cor. 12:13). Upon being 
     baptized people are saved (Mk. 16:16), and the saved are added 
     to the church. 

  9. Circumcision if refused cut off the person from God’s people 
     (Gen. 17:14). Refusal of baptism means damnation (Mk. 16:16). But
     people say, “Mk. 16:16 says he that believeth not shall be damned.
     It did not say, ‘He that believeth not and is baptized not shall
     be damned’”. No, it did not say “and is baptized not” because if
     one doesn’t believe he is condemned already before he gets  to
     baptism. A good illustration of this is, “He who eats and digests
     his food shall live but he who eats no food shall die.” You don’t
     have to say “he who eats no food nor digests it  shall die” 
     because if you don’t eat it you certainly will not digest it. 
     The unbeliever is not a fit subject of baptism. 

 10. When the male child was circumcised he was then given an earthly 
     name. But when we are baptized we receive a highly spiritual name-
     the name Christian (Acts 11:26; 26:28; I Pet. 4:16). 

 11. Circumcision has been taken out of the way in favor of the gospel
     of Christ (Heb. 10:9,10). It is no longer binding on mankind. 
     However baptism is binding for the entire Christian age. Christ 
     when he gave the great commission said he would be with us until
     the end of the world (Mat. 28:20). So baptism will last until 
     the end of the world along with all the other commands of the 
     great commission.

  Circumcision is not a type of baptism. Please do not look at it as 
  such but accept what the Bible teaches about baptism.  



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