And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” Genesis 17:9-14 ESV
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. Colossians 2:6-7, 11-12 ESV
Many people who are married wear a wedding ring. A husband or wife gives the wedding ring to the other when they get married. The wedding ring comes with a promise to love and be faithful as long as both people live. It’s the promise, not the ring, that makes a marriage. It’s possible to buy a wedding ring and put in on your finger, but that wouldn’t make you married. The ring has to come with a promise from a husband or wife.
God made promises to Abraham and his household. To show they were part of the community of God’s people, God gave them the sign of circumcision. Circumcision is cutting off some skin. A person could cut off some skin but not be one of God’s people, though. It’s the promise God gave that went with circumcision that made it a sign of being included among God’s people. God’s promise was to call them his own, and to bring the promised Savior to them.
We know God kept that promise in Jesus. Jesus died on the cross for us, was buried in a stone grave, and came out of the tomb on the third day. God gives us his promised love through Jesus. He takes away our sins through what Jesus did for us. He connects that promise of forgiveness and new life to baptism. Just getting wet doesn’t make us God’s children. But God connects his Word and promise to baptism. When we are baptized, God takes everything Jesus did and makes it ours forever!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for keeping all your promises in Jesus, and for making us your children. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.