Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XVII: Applying The Truth That Believers Are Circumcised In Christ
(Colossians 2:11 et al.)
  1. Introduction
    1. Life by the sin nature eventually becomes a living death: when one is addicted to substance abuse, to various immoral activities, to witchcraft or to an overwhelming jealousy or hatred, what he and others involved with him experience is a destructive lack of self-control that becomes worse than death itself!
    2. One of the 33 positional truths the believer has when he trusts in Christ's Gospel is that he is "circumcised with the circumcision made without hands," a position that applied gives him full relief from the harmful control of his sin nature (Lewis S. Chafer, Systematic Theology, v. III, "Soteriology," p. 250-251):
  2. Applying The Truth That Believers Are Circumcised In Christ, Colossians 2:11 et al.
    1. In writing the Colossian epistle, Paul countered an error that mingled Hebrew legalism with Oriental mysticism and Grecian philosophy, cf. Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978 ed., p. 1690, "Introduction To The Letter Of Paul To The Colossians: The Colossian Heresy."
    2. Thus, he was standing up to Judaistic parties that Paul had before countered, parties who tried to make physical circumcision required either for salvation or for holy Christian living, Acts 15:1-2; Gal.5:1-4.
    3. In thus countering errant Judaism, Paul wrote the believer was "circumcised with the circumcision made without hands," meaning once one trusted in Christ's Gospel, he was circumcised with a SPIRITUAL circumcision that bypassed and surpassed in QUALITY mere physical circumcision, Colossians 2:11a.
    4. Paul then explained what this SPIRITUAL circumcision entailed (as follows), Colossians 2:11b:
      1. In place of removing the foreskin in physical circumcision, spiritual circumcision involved God's removing the "body of the sins of the flesh," or removing the sin nature's dominion over the believer, Ibid., Ryrie, ftn. to Col. 2:11-12; Ibid., Chafer, p. 250.
      2. Thus, the believer's sin nature was so judged at the cross that every believer has a way of deliverance available to him from the control of the sinful nature over his behavior, Ibid., p. 251.
    5. This deliverance is more fully explained elsewhere in the New Testament as follows:
      1. Apart from Christ's involvement, every believer is wretchedly so controlled by his sin nature so that what evil he does not want to do, he does, and what good he wants to do he cannot do, Rom. 7:15-24.
      2. However, Christ's work at the cross so judged the believer's sin nature that, if the believer relies on the Holy Spirit of God Who comes to indwell him at faith in the Gospel (Rom. 8:9b) he can live a righteous life that perfectly pleases God, Rom . 8:1a, 2-4!
      3. Now, the indwelling Holy Spirit wars against the sin nature so the believer is EITHER totally living by means of his sinful nature OR totally living by means of the Holy Spirit, Gal. 5:17.
      4. Thus, when the believer chooses to rely on the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit through him boycotts control by the sinful nature and leads the believer to live a perfectly righteous life, Gal. 5:16; 2:20.
      5. Now, control by the sinful nature leads to destructive addictions described in Gal. 5:19-21: these are sexually immoral addictions (5:19, 21c ESV), substance abuse addiction (5:21b ESV), uncontrollable fits of anger (5:20c,d ESV), witchcraft (5:20a,b ESV) and such things, Galatians 5:21b.
      6. Conversely, when the Holy Spirit controls him, He causes the believer to be "addictive" to showing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, Gal. 5:22-23.
    6. Hence, any believer with any background of sin can live victorious over his former evil vices as follows:
      1. First, if he is in sin, the believer must confess it for total forgiveness and cleansing by God, 1 John 1:9.
      2. Then, once his sins are confessed, he is controlled by God, the Holy Spirit, so he merely needs to rely on His divine power to heed Scripture, and he will exhibit the qualities of Gal. 5:22-23 instead of the wretched behaviors of his sin nature, and that regardless of his background!
Lesson: Since Christ POSITIONALLY defeated the DOMINION of the believer's own SIN NATURE at the cross, the believer can LIVE RIGHTEOUSLY by the INFINITE POWER of the INDWELLING GOD, the Holy Spirit regardless how addicted he has become to any vice in his background.

Application: May we trust in Christ as Savior, and rely on the INDWELLING GOD, the Holy Spirit and His INFINITE DIVINE POWER for victory over the power of our OWN respective sin natures!