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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