17:12eight days old. See Luke 1:59; 2:21; Phil. 3:5. Some ancient Near Eastern cultures circumcised their children at puberty as a rite of passage from childhood to manhood. God employed the sign for infants to show that the children of believing parents are “holy” (they are separated from the profane world and belong to the covenant community, Rom. 11:16; 1 Cor. 7:14). God continues to use the family institution (Acts 16:31). The initiation rite into the covenant community today is baptism. In Christ there is no longer male or female, Jew or Gentile, so all may come (Gal. 3:26–29; Col. 2:11, 12). See theological note “Infant Baptism” on page 37.
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