Sorry for the delay, I had computer problems.
Acts 7:1–8 (ESV)
7 And the high priest said, “Are these things so?” 2 And Stephen said:
“Brothers and fathers,
hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, 3 and said to him, ‘Go out from your land and from your kindred and go into the land that I will show you.’ 4 Then he went out from the
land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran. And after his father died, God removed him from there into this land in which you are now living. 5 Yet he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot’s length, but promised to give it to him as a possession
and to his offspring after him, though he had no child. 6 And God spoke to this effect—that his offspring would be sojourners in a land belonging to others, who would enslave them and afflict them four hundred years. 7 ‘But I will judge the nation
that they serve,’ said God, ‘and after that they shall come out and worship me in this place.’ 8 And he gave him the covenant of circumcision. And so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day, and Isaac became
the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs.
In yesterday’s reading, Stephen had been seized and they were questioning him. Stephen takes the opportunity to preach to them about
his faith and Jesus Christ. His sermon will be broken down into several parts. He begins by tying God he believes in to the God of Abraham. This is the God they think they are familiar with. He builds on history that they are familiar
with. He traces the history all the way to the people he is standing before. God gives them the covenant of circumcision. Circumcision marks a person as a child of God. This is interesting because in the New Testament, baptism marks
you as a child of God. I know that there will be people who disagree with what I’m about to say... and so be it. They are still my brothers in Christ. Infant baptism has been around since the apostles. Please bear with me... circumcision
is something that was commanded by God and done to the infant/adults. Did the infant have a choice? Was there an age of accountability? No. In the New Testament, circumcision was replace with Baptism. There is scripture that connects
the two. Here is the scriptures:
Colossians 2:8–14 (ESV)
8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according
to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also you were
circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised
him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands.
This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
Baptism is not something you do for God, it is something God does for you. Baptism replaces circumcision. I know many of my brothers will disagree.
I’m not here to wage war, just making this connection.
I pray: O Lord, help me to speak the Word of Truth even in the face of death. Help me to see trials like this as an opportunity to spread
the Gospel. Help me to be bold. Amen.