Scripture Reading: Colossians 2:11-15
“In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 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.” (Colossians 2:11,12)
Paul uses sacramental language in this passage to explain the new life we have in Christ. Circumcision was the Old Testament sign of the covenant and baptism is the New Testament sign. The point of this passage is that believers are now in union with Christ. As a result of this union, we have been set free from our bondage to sin and brought into a living, vital relationship with Jesus Christ.
In this passage the circumcision made without hands refers to the spiritual action of God that “delivers us from the domain of darkness and transfers us into the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption” (1:13,14). This circumcision is made without hands for it is the supernatural work of Christ. It is through His blood that we are redeemed.
The reference to baptism refers to our dying with Christ in His death. We were set free from our bondage to sin — “We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin” (Romans 6:6).
We have also been raised with Christ in His resurrection to a new life in Him. This is referring to our regeneration. We were dead spiritually (Ephesians 2:1), but God caused us to be born again (I Peter 1:3). As a result we are new creatures in Christ — “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature. The old has passed away; behold the new has come” (II Corinthians 5:17).
Paul’s point is that our salvation is fully the work of God. He delivered us from our sins and He made us alive with Christ. All this is possible because of our union with Christ.
Lord Jesus, I know that I have been buried with You in Your baptism and raised with You in Your resurrection. You have delivered me from my enslavement to sin. You have brought spiritual life to me and made me a new creature. I am so thankful for the union that I have with You which made my salvation possible.
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