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June 7, 2016


by Leslie John

Jesus said:
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)

In the Old Testament the instructions given by God to Abraham to circumcise every male child on the eighth day was a covenant between God and Abraham. (A covenant is a mutual agreement). God said every male child among the seed of Abraham after him, whether he is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, one that is not of Abraham’s seed shall be circumcised and if any one was not circumcised that soul shall be cut off from his people. It was equivalent to breaking the covenant.

This covenant was established by God between Him and Abraham that He will be God of Abraham and his posterity through Isaac. God promised Abraham that He will give him the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession. (Genesis 17:7-9)

For a New Testament believer circumcision profits nothing. Apostle Paul emphasized this fact in Romans 2:25

“For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes un-circumcision” (Romans 2:25 ESV)

Referring to this circumcision, Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 3:4-8 that he was from the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Pharisee, circumcised on the eighth day. He says that if any one has more trust in circumcision he would consider himself a better man than any other for having kept the law. He writes that, before he accepted Jesus as his Lord, he had great zeal to persecute the Church.

Paul’s name was Saul before his conversion to follow Jesus. Perhaps, Paul would have gained wealth, name and fame if only he continued that which he was doing and in his status as a Pharisee, of the tribe of Benjamin, and with the pride of having been circumcised. But, God’s plan was not to let Paul into the world to earn some temporal benefits in this world, but His plan was to work for Him.

Paul says that he counted all the gain that he had in this world, or that which he would have had in this world by not accepting Jesus as his Savior was of no gain. He says it was all waste and loss. The only thing that counted for him as gain was the excellence of the knowledge of Lord Jesus Christ, whom he called, as ‘my Lord’. Paul calls everything of this world is just ‘dung’, a refuse.

“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Philippians 3:8)

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