Posted by: bshelley | February 27, 2009

Been Circumcised?

baptism-in-brasil

Today’s Verse: Colossians 2:11-12 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the 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. NASB

Circumcision is used here by Paul as an example of what God does in baptism. He removes sin from the heart. It is fascinating how God set all these things in motion in the shadow system of the Old Testament. Beginning with Abraham, the men were circumcised as a token of the covenant made with God. That was the outward sign that they were dedicated children of God. In the New Covenant, the shadow becomes reality in baptism. The “flesh” of sin is not removed in prayer, but rather in obedience in baptism. Scripture tells us that it is indeed there that God performs His work. Now male and female alike possess the spiritual circumcision of the heart who have “been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up…from the dead.” Many contend today that baptism is some form of work, if so, this verse certainly reveals who is doing the work. It is God. Verse 13 goes on to say that we were still dead in sin until God performed this circumcision. Have you been circumcised?

May God bless your heart as you seek His.

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Responses

  1. I strongly believe that each and every Christian should be water baptized by immersion. However, water baptism only illustrates a believer’s identification with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. It is definitely the first step in obedience and the “outward sign” of the “circumcision made without hands.” I will contend that failure to be obedient here can very well be a sign of false conversion. However, the scriptures are very clear about what saves us.

    To say that we must be baptized in order to be saved is to say that we must add our own good works and obedience to Christ’s death in order to make it sufficient for salvation. Jesus’ death alone paid for our sins (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus’ payment for our sins is appropriated to our “account” by faith alone (John 3:16; Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8-9).

    1 Cor 12:13
    For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body…

    Now, we all agree that at the moment of salvation we receive gift of the Holy Spirit!

    While Peter was preaching in Acts 10:44-45, those who BELIEVED received the GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT before their obedience in water baptism. (This is not the only example in scripture).

    What about Acts 2:38? It says to “be baptized…for the remission of sins”?

    It is assumed that the word “for” must mean “in order to get.” However, a closer look at the scriptures will reveal that this isn’t the case at all.

    Notice Luke 5:12-14: “And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him. And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, FOR a testimony unto them.”

    Jesus made this man clean in verse 13, yet in the next verse, verse 14, Jesus tells him to go offer a sacrifice “for thy cleansing” as a “testimony.” Here the word “for” cannot mean “in order to get” because he had already gotten his cleansing in verse 13!

    It obviously meant “because of” his cleansing. If a man goes to jail “for stealing,” then he goes there “because of” the stealing that he’s already done, not “in order to get” a chance to steal again.

    You say that baptism isn’t a form of work because it is God who does the work, but you also say that ‘the flesh of sin is removed in obedience’!

    Romans 10:9-13

    That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt BELIEVE in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, THOU SHALT BE SAVED. FOR WITH THE HEART MAN BELIEVETH UNTO RIGHTEOUSNESS; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

    Acts 10:43 says, “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”

    “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 5:1)

    Bryan, God bless you in everything you do. It is my prayer that you would repent of this grievous misrepresentation of the Gospel.

  2. lol. When I said “I will contend” in the first paragraph, I meant “I will agree”.

  3. Hi David. This is a chemo week for me so please don’t count my slow response to such an important point as disregarding your comment. It is obviously an extremely important point. I will respond and I know we may part in disagreement, but as I once held the position you are presenting, trust that I am basing my belief concerning the importance of baptism to salvation on the weight of scripture as well. God bless and I’ll be posting a response hopefully by early next week. Bryan

  4. Great! I hope you are feeling well. I look forward to your response.


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