Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you have not been circumcised. If those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker. A person is not a Jew if he/she is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a person is a Jew if he/she is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God. (Romans 2:25-29)
The Jews have the rite of circumcision. Christians have the sacrament of water baptism. But are the baptisms of Catholic and Protestant churches correct in baptizing infants? Or are the Baptist churches, evangelical churches, independent Christian churches, Churches of Christ and the Churches of God correct with their immersion baptism of those who confess Jesus Christ to be their Savior? (Please comment on my Blog today if you have an opinion.) Unfortunately, baptism is one area that has divided Christianity. Paul is saying that it is circumcision or baptism of the heart that matters.
When you declare your belief in Jesus as your Savior, God gives you the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Mark 16:16a states: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.” I think this is the only verse that mentions baptism as a requirement to be saved. But it is in the Bible, so baptism must be a requirement to be saved. Then, we must know which kind of baptism is necessary to be saved. Here, according to Paul, it is baptism of the heart that is important. In John 1:33, Matthew 3:11, and Mark 1:8 we learn that Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Spirit. Peter in Acts 2:38 tells us when we will be baptized by the Holy Spirit. “Repent and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” So when we believe and we repent, then we are baptized by Jesus with the Holy Spirit. It is this baptism of the Holy Spirit from Jesus that enables us to change our hearts.