Cutting Off Sin
"In him, you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead." - Colossians 2:11-12 NIV What do a wedding ring, a uniform, and circumcision all have in common? They're all signs of covenant promise. The wedding ring a sign of vows once pledged, the uniform a sign of commitment to the nation one serves and circumcision a sign that one belongs to the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. In the Old Testament circumcision was performed by human hands through the removal of the male foreskin as a commitment that one belonged to God. The person who refused this sign was to be "cut off" a rather ironic term that meant excommunicated or cast out of the assembly of Israel. However, as Paul addresses the Colossians, concerning circumcision, he makes several statements that introduce a marked change in the understanding. These changes are as follows: 1. Circumcision takes place "in Christ" and never outside of Him. Only those in Him are saved. 2. Circumcision isn't performed by human hands. A very important way of saying that it's the work of God. 3. Circumcision is all about the removal of sin. Quite interestingly referred to as "flesh" in the New Testament. The point Paul is making is that true circumcision (that of Jesus Christ and not of men) is the putting off of the sinful nature. This is the true sign that we belong to God. It's important to note that this is first an act of God and second, as a result, our obedience through faith. Unpopular in the church today is the true gospel message that Jesus came to purify us from the very sin that separated us from God! Questions to Consider: Do you believe that Jesus circumcised you of your sin when he died on the cross for you? In light of this circumcision have you been raised with him through faith which results in works? Read Galatians 5:19 through 21 what's the result of refusing the circumcision of Christ and refusing to live by faith?