Summary: As Children and people of the covnenant we are marked in the Old testament by circumcision in the New by God's Spirit. It will be our passion to follow God's command if we are indeed children of the covenant.
Intro: Warren Wiersbe said something profound. “God’s people must be prepared before they can be trusted with victory.” The conquest of the Promised Land was God’s victory not Joshua’s or Israel’s. It was not the expertise of the Jewish army or emotions of the enemy that would allow victory.
I. True victory is ours only if we are covenant people
A) Old Covenant mark of circumcision
Deuteronomy 10:16 “Therefore, circumcise your hearts and don’t be stiff-necked any longer.”
Circumcision was the covenant sign given to Abraham that he and his children were chosen by God. Deuteronomy makes clear that this is an outward sign of an inward attitude. The Hebrew’s were to be the separate distinct people of God.
B) New Covenant Seal of the Holy Spirit
Truth revealed by the two covenant seals. We are all baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 12:13)
1) We are saved from sins penalty by substitution (Red Sea – Jesus Blood)
Jesus died for our sins
2) We are saved from the power of sin by identification (Jordan – Our death)
The truth revealed by crossing the Jordan and baptism are that we died with Jesus.
Why this timing to call the nation of Israel to circumcision? God was teaching them and is teaching us we cannot have victory over our enemies if we are not covenant people. Warfare does not come before worship. Worship is at its heart bowing in obedience to the commands and direction of God. Every battle we fight finds its source in the spiritual. Our physical sins find their source in our spiritual rebellion.
Here as God calls Israel and us to make sure that our relationship is right with God. Just when we would think we should march on God says make sure you are in a relationship with me. Do you need a spiritual inventory? From a human standpoint it was silly for Joshua to circumcise all of Israel. Remember victory only comes to covenant people.
The Hebrew people had not been circumcised. There are many ideas and suggestions for why this is so. However, we just don’t know the exact reason why.
We must learn as Joshua and all Israel did that obedience to the Lord is more important than than anything else. So the question must be asked Immanuel What has God called us to do?
Before facing any battle wise soldiers take inventory of their weapons and supplies.
1) Are you guilty of wandering off to do your own thing? Have you become so concerned with the things of the earth, career, retirement, hobbies, recreation, that you have forgotten that God calls each of us to a ministry and the mission He gave this church? If so repentance is necessary to keep from becoming vulnerable and weak.
2) Have you neglected the more important things, forgiveness, faithfulness, worship, obedience?
3) Have you adopted the mentality and values of the world?
4) Have you truly trusted Jesus Christ or are you depending on your own goodness?
Why is the trust relationship so important?
C) New way God provided for His children