Apr 11, 2021. Colossians 2:11-15

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THE COMPLETE WORK OF CHRIST.  Colossians 2:11-15.  4/11/2021.  #6.

Colossians 2:11-15 [New King James Version]

11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

  1. A warped Judaism
    1. Even though Col. was mostly Gentile, it had a large
    1. Jewish population from about 200 BC (Antiochus the Great)
    1. An odd angel worship cult grew up in the city
      1. The angel Michael was given credit for saving the city from a great flood
      1. One of reasons Paul wrote this letter
    1. Along with worshipping the Archangel Michael, the city dragged in other elements of Judaism (circumcision, law keeping, feast days, and rituals)
    1. One of the concerns of Paul was that the Col. would bring into their Christian faith their old practices
    1. There is a tendency to hang onto old traditions when people come to faith
      1. Example: Roman Catholicism added many elements of local religions as they expanded
      1. Family traditions of Sabbath keeping, dress, music, taboos, and holy days often cloud faith
  2. The ultimate circumcision
    1. Two dangers of keeping traditions: (1) often traditions are placed on the level of scripture  (2) hinders both truth and growth in a believer’s life
    1. Old Testament crossover
      1. What transfers over from Judaism to the church?
      1. Two extremes: nothing of OT applies to us today or everything of OT is still valid (Messianic Jews)
    1. What is not valid today from the OT:
      1. None of the ceremonies, rituals, feast days, etc.
      1. Neither Law signs: circumcision (Acts 15) nor Sabbath keeping (Ezekiel 20:11-12)
    1. What is valid today from the OT:
      1. Universal Law (marriage, civil law, human rights)
      1. Moral Law (sanctity of life, honesty, fidelity, justice, exclusive primacy of God, reverence…)
      1. I Corinthians 10:11 the lessons of the OT narratives 
    1. Paul tells the Col. that circumcision is no longer required
      1. Believers are spiritually circumcised through faith in the sacrifice of Christ
      1. Physical circumcision has no spiritual meaning
      1. Circumcision, Sabbath keeping, baptism, offerings, communion, feasts, etc. are all physical symbols of a spiritual reality accomplished in and through Christ entered into by faith
      1. Circumcision = not to be continued as a faith mandate
    1. Paul was concerned they would include it as a Christian practice necessity (GAL. 2:11-21)
  3. Saved by Christ and not by symbols
    1. To make sure that Col. understood the difference between symbols and reality represented by symbols, he uses baptism
      1. When Christ died, we died to sin with him
      1. When Christ was buried we were buried into his baptism (as under the water = in the earth)
      1. When he was raised, we were raised with him (as coming out of the baptism water)
    1. The writ of charges against us have been wiped clean
      1. Our sins are nailed to the cross (gone!)
      1. The reality and not the symbol is 100% effective
    1. Jesus has defeated all spiritual powers against us and paraded them before the father in absolute triumph

Key Verse: Galatians 2:11-21

11 Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; 12 for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. 13 And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.

14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews? 15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

17 “But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”