I wanted to skip this verse. I tried to skip this verse. But, I heard my Papa say,
“Go for it!”
“...and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made
without hands, in the removal of the body of flesh by the circumcision
of Christ.” (Col. 2:11)
Somewhat confusing but this confusing verse becomes more clear in
...he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of
the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men,
but from God.”
(Please continue to the end.)
Why is Paul talking so much about circumcision? Because God set this up
as the centerpiece of worship in the Old Testament. In order to call yourself
a Jew, you had to be circumcised, if you were male. Women, of course, were
not included in this. Hmm.
The Apostle Paul was called to preach to the Gentiles and there was a HUGE
discussion over whether the Gentile Christians had to be circumcised in order
to be called Christian. Paul said a big, “NO!” This did not sit well with some of
the Jewish leaders who called themselves Christians. These men followed Paul
and would visit the new churches he had spent only four months establishing.
They preached, “You must be circumcised and you must follow the whole law
in order to ‘be saved.’” These men were very persuasive in how they spoke to
recent heathens who had no Jewish background. If they had been successful,
the early church would have been birthed from law instead of grace. So Paul
wrote his first letter to the Church in Galatia and then he mentions the issues
of law and circumcision in other letters written later. It was an ongoing problem.
One author called the men who visited all of Paul's church plants,
“Paul’s thorn in the flesh.”
The really good news for both men and women, is that God now speaks to us
from the New Covenant where circumcision is all about the heart and God
takes care of this Himself, at the time of our salvation.
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