Why My Faith Is In The Cross - Part II
Colossians 2:11-15 – “In Whom also you are circumcised with the Circumcision made without hands (that which is brought about by the Cross [Rom. 6:3-5]), in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the Circumcision of Christ (refers to the old carnal nature that is defeated by the Believer placing his Faith totally in the Cross, which gives the Holy Spirit latitude to work):
“Buried with Him in Baptism (does not refer to Water Baptism, but rather to the Believer baptized into the death of Christ, which refers to the Crucifixion and Christ as our substitute [Rom. 6:3-4]), wherein also you are risen with Him through the Faith of the operation of God, Who has raised Him from the dead. (This does not refer to our future physical Resurrection, but to that Spiritual Resurrection from a sinful state into Divine Life. We died with Him, we are buried with Him, and we rose with Him [Rom. 6:3-5], and herein lies the secret to all Spiritual Victory.)
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh (speaks of spiritual death [i.e., “separation from God”], which sin does!), has He quickened together with Him (refers to being made Spiritually alive, which is done through being “Born-Again”), having forgiven you all trespasses (the Cross made it possible for all manner of sins to be forgiven and taken away);
“Blotting out the handwriting of Ordinances that was against us (pertains to the Law of Moses, which was God’s Standard of Righteousness that man could not reach), which was contrary to us (Law is against us, simply because we are unable to keep its precepts, no matter how hard we try), and took it out of the way (refers to the penalty of the Law being removed), nailing it to His Cross (the Law with its decrees was abolished in Christ’s Death, as if Crucified with Him);
“And having spoiled principalities and powers (Satan and all of his henchmen were defeated at the Cross by Christ atoning for all sin; sin was the legal right Satan had to hold man in captivity; with all sin atoned, he has no more legal right to hold anyone in bondage), He (Christ) made a show of them openly (what Jesus did at the Cross was in the face of the whole universe), triumphing over them in it. (The triumph is complete and it was all done for us, meaning we can walk in power and perpetual Victory due to the Cross.)”
Paul’s Letter To The Colossians
A variety of messages were attempting to gain entrance into the heart of the Believers at Colosse. Epaphrus, the supposed founder and leader of the Church, journey’s over 1,000 miles to see Paul. Paul was being held by authorities in Rome, under house arrest, until his trial before Caesar. Epaphrus goes to him and explains the situation. In an effort to keep the Gospel pure in the hearts of the Saints in Colosse and the surrounding areas of Hieropolis and Laodicea, Paul writes the Epistle we know as Colossians to solidify the Faith of these Churches. First, He writes of the preeminence that Christ should hold in the lives of the Believers. He reminds them that Christ was preeminent in regard to Creation as well as the Plan of Redemption. He goes on to say that only Christ is worthy of being the Head of the Church.
In what we now call Chapter Two, Paul declares his long standing concern for the Church and urges them to recognize that, “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him” (Col 2:6). This statement reminds them that the initial Salvation experience that was accomplished by Faith and Grace is to lead as the example for the ongoing Sanctification process. A sinner who expresses trust in Christ as Saviour is trusting that Christ died on Calvary as payment for his or her sin. That same individual, according to Paul’s writings, should continually trust in the same event, the events of Calvary, as He grows Spiritually. In both situations, Faith in the proper Object brings God’s Response of Grace to either the lost sinner or equally to the maturing Saint. “For by Grace are you Saved through Faith . . .” (Eph. 2:8). Paul continues by warning the Believer not to allow philosophy, religion, tradition, or any other false way to led them away from Faith in Christ and His Finished Work. He exhorts them to believe that we, as Believers, are “complete in Him” (Col. 2:10). Then, in Verses 11 through 15, he qualifies why our Faith should remain in the Cross, the Finished Work of Christ, by revealing to us nine major benefits that Faith in God’s Redemption Plan (the Cross) will produce.
“In whom also you are circumcised with the Circumcision made without hands. . . .”
BENEFIT #1 – A Person is Born-Again as a result of Faith in the Cross.
Spiritual circumcision is the Work of the Holy Spirit that transforms the sinner into a Saint. An internal operation of supernatural proportion occurs. Jesus refers to this as being “born-again” in His Discussion with Nicodemus. The heart that was once hard to the things of God is transformed into a heart that is pliable and sensitive to God. Installed into the heart is the Moral Code of God and the Presence of the Holy Spirit becomes a constant abiding fact, leading the new convert into all truth. No work or labor of man can accomplish this. No philosophy, no tradition, no wisdom of man can provide these marvelous truths. That is why the term “without hands” is used. It totally excludes every effort of man. Man is helpless. He is hopelessly lost. But, the moment God recognizes True Faith in His Son as Saviour, all of the above and more takes place. My Faith is in the Cross because by that proper Object of Faith, I have been “circumcised with the Circumcision made without hands” – truly Born-Again. In Romans 2:28-29, the Apostle Paul proclaims, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly, neither is that Circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly, and Circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God.”
“. . . in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the Circumcision of Christ.”
BENEFIT #2 – My Faith in the Cross brings me freedom from the dominion of the
The second benefit realized as a result of placing one’s Faith in the Cross is freedom from the power of the sin nature. The very second the believing sinner accepts Christ, looking to Him as Saviour and Lord, that person is baptized by the Spirit into the Person of Christ. I Corinthians 12:13 says, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one Body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” This has nothing to do with water baptism, but rather, it is the supernatural union that takes place between Christ and the new convert at Salvation. We become a Child of God. As a result of my union with Christ, an amazing truth is realized. God looks at me as always having been in Christ. I was “in Him” then, when he was crucified, I was “in Him” when He rose from the dead, and in the future I will rule and reign “with Him.” His Past is my past. His Present is now my present. His Future is now my future. That’s how Paul can say accurately and truthfully in Gal. 2:20, “I am Crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live. . . .” Note that he did not claim to be crucified as Christ was, but rather, that he was literally Crucified with Christ.
In the Mind of God, the Believer has been changed by God’s Spirit and placed into a union with Christ. This union and Crucifixion is the reason why acts of sin and the presence of the sin nature no longer dominate the person’s thoughts and actions. The power of the sin nature, the driving force of humans towards acts of sin and selfishness, has been throttled. By my union with Christ by Faith, I have “put off the body of the sins of the flesh.” More Scripture that states that the power of the sin nature (and thus acts of sin) has been broken can be found in Romans 6:6-7 which says, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.” As I learn to daily place my Faith in Christ and the Cross I learn how to rise above the presence of the sin nature, which even though dormant, has the potential of influencing me. In the latter half of Galatians 2:20, Paul states how this is done, “I am Crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the Faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” I place and keep my Faith in the Cross for through Faith the Grace of God keeps me free from the power of the sin nature.
TO BE CONTINUED