by Barbara Payne – Article July 2018
Whilst travelling recently, I was reading my Bible as I wanted to go through the book of Acts again. It is amazing how you think you know God’s word until you read it again and again and then receive a new revelation.
In Acts chapter 2 after the wonderful outpouring of the Holy Spirit Peter stands up to explain to the crowd what is happening and in verses 36-38 he says; “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified. Both Lord and Christ.” Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles “What shall we do?” Then Peter said: “Repent and let every one of you be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
I have read this passage so many times over the years and even quoted it in my book ‘The Holy Spirit’ and yet this day came a deeper revelation.
OUR HEARTS NEED TO BE CUT… IT IS A SPIRITUAL CIRCUMCISION and with that comes true conversion. This spiritual operation is performed by the Holy Spirit speaking through ‘born again’ Spirit filled believers.
The male Israelites had to be circumcised as a covenant sign with God and of course this was to men only. But now this spiritual circumcision is open to all who will believe. Jesus gave His life that we might live but until we are ‘cut to the heart’ we remain lifeless. Genesis 6:6 God says: He regretted the day He made man as man’s heart has become so wicked. We need a change of heart and only God can give it to us.
It has always been difficult to explain how I was ‘born again’ and I used to try and understand what I knew happened within me but until recently I had not realised that I had experienced a spiritual circumcision. A new life began, my eyes were opened and I knew that Jesus was (is) alive. That circumcision occurred 40 years ago. He has given me an amazing life full of hope in an eternal destination to be with Him.
You maybe a believer in Jesus Christ, you may have attended church all your life and yet you have never been ‘cut to the heart,’ you have never experienced the fullness of life that comes with really knowing Jesus and being filled with His Holy Spirit. There are many false gospels, false religions and false hope just as Jesus warned. Look to the truth of the scriptures and do not be deceived: Jesus says; “I am the Way the Truth and the Life
CONVERSION WITHOUT CONVICTION IS NOT CONVERSION
CONVERSION WITH CONVICTION IS CIRCUMCISION
I have yet to read in scripture that you need to be ‘led in the sinner’s prayer’ or where you need to attend a course to ‘get saved’ or even attend a specific church. This circumcision is the work of the Holy Spirit not of man. O yes we need people full of the Holy Spirit preaching the true gospel of Jesus Christ, then as Paul says in Romans 1:16 ‘The gospel is the power of God to the salvation of men’s souls
Paul clarifies the issue of true circumcision when he said, “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.” Roman 2:28-29
The Old Covenant required an outward circumcision… “Then God said to Abraham, ‘As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come… Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.’” Genesis 17:9-14 It was a sure covenant between God and His people, a seal as it were that set God’s people apart from all others.
Today however, under the New Covenant, a circumcision of the heart and not of the flesh, is what God requires. Anyone who is not so circumcised will be cut off from among His people. God declares in His New Covenant, “I will put my laws in their minds and write them ON THEIR HEARTS. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Hebrews 8:10 The New Covenant is a heart covenant so try to recall if you were cut to the heart in deep conviction when you first heard the gospel and made a decision to follow Jesus. If not, pray today that God will perform a heart surgery on you that you may be sealed as one of His.