March 1, 2021

What Does Colossians 2:11 Mean?

What Does Colossians 2:11 Mean?

Colossians 2:11 (NIV) In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ


Hey, welcome to The Simple Truth. I’m Julie Carruth.

Last week, we ended In Colossians 2 verse 10 with the verse that says in Christ, you are full. What does that mean?

This week, Paul gives us 4 things that we need to know about fullness. 

He begins in verse eleven in the NLT with “When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature.”

So Paul says you were circumcised and your sinful nature was cut away. 

Circumcision refers to the common ritual of cutting away a small portion of flesh on a Jewish boy when he’s 8 days old. It symbolized the child’s participation in God’s covenant with Abraham that we first read about in Genesis 17. It indicated that you were a beneficiary of God’s blessings and His promise.  You were now a part of God’s family. 

You can imagine what the Jews in Colossae were thinking when suddenly a Christian church was planted there and these new followers of Christ began saying that they were part of God’s family. They were the chosen ones, but they never had this procedure done to them. 

So, these legalistic Judaziers began creeping into the church saying it’s not enough to say you’re a Christian. If you want to be in God’s family, you must be circumcised. 

Paul says you don’t need to have that done to your physical flesh, because you’ve already experienced the cutting away of your sinful nature and it wasn’t done with human hands. God did it.  That word for “cutting off” in Greek gives the image of stripping off filthy clothing and throwing it away. Paul says whether you circumcised or uncircumcised, it made no eternal difference. The only way to heaven is salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ alone. 

Now, what does Paul mean when he writes that Christ performed a spiritual circumcision? Many scholars believe it refers to Christ’s body being torn away from him in death on the cross. And you too, as a believer, participated in death with him. The person you used to be died with Christ right there on that cross. 

So your Simple Truth for today: When you gave your life to Christ, your old sinful nature died. You now live a new life fully in Christ.

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Have a blessed day. I’ll see you tomorrow.