Colossians 2:11-12 “And in Him you were circumcised by a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.”
Observation: Paul’s writings never seem to stray far from the idea that if we have truly come to Christ, we now live our lives in Him, and He lives in us. The two have become one. As in a marriage, there is no longer enough daylight between the two where a pry-bar could be inserted to cause separation. Once cloth has been dyed, we can never again see the cloth without seeing the dye or the dye without seeing the cloth. Just so, the Christian’s life ought to be lived so “I” can no longer be seen without seeing Christ. In Colossians 2:11–12, Paul told us precisely when and how this was accomplished: at the moment of our spiritual circumcision, which he calls a circumcision made without hands, our baptism.
Application: Baptism is more than a mere symbol. Most of us understand what it means to be physically circumcised, but in case we’re a bit foggy, Paul made it clear: the removal, the cutting away, of the body of the flesh. Once circumcision was completed, the part cut off was discarded because it was now dead. Unlike a lost baby tooth slipped hopefully beneath our pillow, no one in his right mind would think to retain the old flesh as a souvenir. As we come into relationship with Christ and identify with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection through baptism, our old sin nature is cut away and discarded just as in the circumcision of the flesh.
If my baptism into Christ has caused my old sin nature to be cut off and thrown away, then for the first time in my life I have become free to not sin. That’s why 1 John 2:1 says, “If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus.” “If” we sin, not “when.”
Think of it! Why does a child put an extracted tooth under her pillow? Isn’t it due to her expectation of a visit from the tooth fairy? Why in heaven’s name do I continue to live as though expecting a visit from the circumcision fairy, as though expecting what should have been discarded in disgust remains nearby, ready to be resurrected in a moment’s notice? If I carry that attitude, perhaps I ought to rethink the meaning of my baptism experience. The Lord well knows that true baptism conveyed freedom, not complete maturity, so I do fail from time to time. But it is now always a failure of will; I am never compelled to sin. Sinning has now become a willful, knowing choice.
Prayer: Lord, I am amazed at the breadth and scope of freedom You have purchased for me through Your death, burial and resurrection. Hallelujah!