Are Christian males required to be circumcised?
The act of circumcision was given as part of the 613 Old Testament laws. It is within the Mosaic covenant that affirmed a relationship by an agreed covenant with God. On the eight day of birth for all Jewish males, they were to be circumcised. The significance of the ‘cutting’ away of the foreskin was symbolic of the people being ‘cutting away’ from the rest of the world. This separation of the Jewish people was to show (especially to the Gentiles) that the circumcised were God’s people.
You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant.Gen 17:111-14
There is still great debate within the Jewish community as to weather Jewish males are to be circumcised today because the above verses says it’s an everlasting covenant. However, we as Christians are no longer obligated under the Old Testament laws other than the things Jesus reaffirmed in the new covenant give in the New Testament such as the Ten commandments and His new command to “Love one another”. Jesus fulfilled the old Mosaic Laws.
For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Gal. 5:14
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. Rom. 13-8
The old Testament laws were given because Jesus had not been on the scene yet. The people had no hope for salvation. This is why scripture tells us that the Law was given for the ‘transgression of men”. It was their ‘guide’ to live lives that would be acceptable to God;
Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. Gal. 3-23-25
Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. Rom. 10:4
The New Testament tells us that circumcision today is true belief. A circumcision of the heart is what matters.
A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God. Rom 2:28-29
In the book of Galatians, Paul is speaking to those Jews who’s belief it is that they are righteous through their circumcision. Paul, in no uncertain terms shows their error;
Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope.For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.Gal. 5:2-6
So again, the act of circumcision from a biblical standpoint is that it is more important that your faith show it’s works;
Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts. Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them. 1 Cor. 7:18-19
With all this being said, is there any other benefit for males to being circumcised? I believe there is. Although it is debatable, one reason is for health benefits and the other is that it can be easier for a boy to feel like other males.