- The Five Aspects of the Everlasting Covenant
- The First Aspect of the Covenant: “Perception”
- The Second Aspect of the Covenant: “Prophecy”
- The Third Aspect of the Covenant: “Personal”
- The Fourth Aspect of the Everlasting Covenant “Possession”
- The Fifth Aspect of the Everlasting Covenant: “The Picture”
- The Everlasting Covenant: The Conclusion
Text verses: Genesis 17:9-14
“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.” (Genesis 17:10)
“And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.” (Genesis 17:11)
The Token of the Everlasting Covenant was the circumcision of every male – Abraham and all males in his family, even the purchased male servants.
Those who knew that they, by faith, were included in the Everlasting Covenant must be circumcised (the cutting away of the flesh of their foreskin). This was not to make them a part of the Everlasting Covenant, but to manifest that they knew they were a part of the Everlasting Covenant.
This again was a physical matter which pointed to a spiritual witness in their hearts that they indeed were beneficiaries of the Everlasting Covenant.
It is the same with the water baptism of the believer in Christ. Neither circumcision, nor water baptism, has anything to do with the individual’s knowledge that he is a son (or daughter) of God, that God is his Father. (See Romans 8:14-16; Galatians 4:5-6.) But both circumcision and water baptism are pictures – or outward signs, or tokens – of an inward Sovereign Work of Grace by God, secured by the Atonement of Christ.
Note Romans 2:25-29 and Colossians 2:11-13 as to what must take place to be counted as a receiver of the benefits of the Everlasting Covenant. First look at Romans:
“For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.” (Romans 2:25)
“Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?” (Romans 2:26)
“And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?” (Romans 2:27)
“For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:” (Romans 2:28)
“But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” (Romans 2:29)
Paul proved that it is not physical circumcision which made one a Jew; but it is a spiritual circumcision “of the heart, in the spirit” (verse 29).
This is the same in Colossians 2:11-13:
“In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:” (Colossians 2:11)
“Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:12)
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;” (Colossians 2:13)
It is not by the circumcision made with hands; but “by the circumcision of Christ” (verse 11), called “the operation of God” (verse 12). And then verse 13 speaks of being “quickened” by Christ.
Peter writes in 1 Peter 3:21 not of being saved by water; but of being saved by Christ’s Death, Burial, and Resurrection:
“The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:” (1 Peter 3:21)
Note in Acts 15, when Peter is speaking of the new Gentile believers; instead of saying “the circumcision of Christ,” or “the operation of God,” he says:
“And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” (Acts 15:9)
Now look at Romans 4:1-2, 7-16:
“What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?” (Romans 4:1)
“For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.” (Romans 4:2)
“Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.” (Romans 4:7)
“Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” (Romans 4:8)
“Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.” (Romans 4:9)
“How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.” (Romans 4:10)
“And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:” (Romans 4:11)
“And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.” (Romans 4:12)
“For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” (Romans 4:13)
“For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:” (Romans 4:14)
“Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.” (Romans 4:15)
“Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,” (Romans 4:16)
In these verses, Paul proves that circumcision is not the basis of righteousness; for he was not circumcised when he was reckoned to be righteous.
Circumcision and baptism are therefore only pictures of an inward Work of Grace in the Called Elect of God, those who are the recipients of the Gift of the Holy Spirit.
See Acts 2:39 and Galatians 3:14:
“For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:39)
“That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Galatians 3:14)
Note the Elect are both Jew and Gentile. See Acts 13:46-48; especially verse 48, “And when the Gentiles heard this…as many as were ordained to eternal life…”
The Gift of the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit Himself; baptizing you into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). This happens in the Process of Regeneration.
It must be concluded that the Benefit of the Everlasting Covenant is Spiritual (1 Corinthians 2:9-16). Therefore, it can only be discerned by those Born of God.