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Christians Must Identify With Jesus

“At that time the Lord said to Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelite men again.” This is the reason Joshua circumcised them: All the people who came out of Egypt who were males — all the men of war — had died in the wilderness along the way after they had come out of Egypt. Though all the people who came out were circumcised, none of the people born in the wilderness along the way were circumcised after they had come out of Egypt. He raised up their sons in their place; it was these Joshua circumcised. They were still uncircumcised since they had not been circumcised along the way. The Lord then said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the disgrace of Egypt from you.” Therefore, that place is still called Gilgal today.” Joshua 5:2, 4-5, 7, 9 CSB


The primary identifying mark of the men of God was circumcision. From the beginning, when God called Abraham to become His son and promised the development of a nation through him, circumcision was used as the sign of this relationship with God. Moses, arguably the greatest leader of Israel, was always loose in obeying God’s command to identify his sons by circumcision. Moses failed to circumcise his own sons, bringing about his own disgrace and near fatality on his way to Egypt to begin the exodus of Israel from bondage. It was Moses’ wife, Zipporah, who saved the day by circumcising her son so that God did not put the family to death (Ex. 4). Apparently, Moses also did not demand the Israelites to identify themselves as the people of God in the wilderness through circumcision. While God graciously allowed Moses to overlook His command, it was still a disgrace to the people of Israel that Joshua had to fix before taking the Promised Land. The Christian may be living under the same disgrace when they fail to identify with their God through baptism. Baptism is the public identification with Jesus where our repentance is made public, and the Church publicly acknowledges receiving forgiveness of our sins. A further application to help eliminate the disgrace of our disobedience to make disciples in our culture is to consider how we may more publicly identify ourselves with Jesus. By identifying ourselves before everyone by some symbol we wear, we draw out other believers who have been cowering in the shadows from fear of people, encouraging them to be more public about their love for Jesus. We likewise draw the seeker to us who wants to know God better and is searching for someone who can help them connect to Jesus for reconciliation. Assisting people to come to faith increases the breadth and depth of the Church to further increase our influence in the world and take away our disgrace. Finally, identifying more publicly with Jesus will illicit hostility from those who hate God and work with satan to destroy His Church. Those who are maligned, for Jesus’ sake, suffer as He suffered from men and are promised God’s greatest eternal reward. It should be our desire to honor Jesus before others that we might suffer as Jesus suffered before others. It is time and necessary for the Church to increase its identification with Jesus.

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