The Circumcision of Christ

The Circumcision of ChristText: Colossians 2:11-14

Circumcision was a sign of the covenant between God and His people beginning with Abraham. In the first century, there was controversy over whether it was to be bound upon Gentile Christians. It is still practiced today, but is not required by God. It has been replaced with something else. Circumcision was a type that pointed to something that would come in Christ. In this lesson, we’re going to look at the antitype to circumcision.

The Type: Physical Circumcision

  • Parties involved – for God’s chosen people (Genesis 17:9-14)
  • Procedure – remove the flesh of the foreskin (Genesis 17:11)
  • Timing – 8th day after birth (Genesis 17:12; Leviticus 12:3)
  • Significance – sign of the covenant between God and His people (Genesis 17:11)

The Antitype: Spiritual Circumcision

Parties Involved

  • One who circumcises – Jesus; He is the one who performs the operation (Colossians 2:12); baptism is not a “work” that you DO, but something you SUBMIT TO
  • The one circumcised – Christians (Colossians 2:11; 1:2); people of faith (Colossians 2:12) as they must believe in order to come to Him (Hebrews 11:6; John 8:24); those who were dead in sin (Colossians 2:13), which means those who are accountable (Romans 3:23), not infants or young children

Procedure

  • Buried in baptism (Colossians 2:12) – baptism is a burial in water (John 3:5; Acts 8:36-38; Romans 6:4)
  • Body of the flesh” removed (Colossians 2:11) – sins are washed away (Acts 22:16; 2:38); removal done by Jesus (Colossians 2:11-12), not by the baptizer
  • Involves the heart (Romans 2:29) – not a physical procedure; removal of sin

Timing

  • At baptism (Colossians 2:11-12)
  • When does baptism occur? – when one responds to the gospel (Acts 2:37-38, 41)

Significance

  • Now raised up with Him (Colossians 2:12) – raised to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4)
  • Now alive together with Him (Colossians 2:13) – no longer dead in sin; spiritual life in Christ (Romans 6:23)
  • Now forgiven (Colossians 2:13) – sins have been washed away (Acts 22:16)
  • Now we have no law against us (Colossians 2:14) – we are now in the church (Acts 2:41, 47); we follow Christ’s law (Matthew 28:18-20; Colossians 3:17)

Conclusion

  • Some talk about baptism as being nothing more than an “outward sign of an inward grace” – they believe they are saved/forgiven/Christians prior to baptism
  • In a sense, the Bible indicates that baptism is a “sign” – in it we conform to the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Romans 6:3-4); it is also the point in which our sins are removed and we are added to the people of God
  • Those who want God to save them need to submit to this “procedure” by obeying the gospel

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