In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, but in a [spiritual] circumcision [performed by] Christ by stripping off the body of the flesh (the whole corrupt, carnal nature with its passions and lusts).
Also it was in union with him that you were circumcised with a circumcision not done by human hands, but accomplished by stripping away the old nature’s control over the body. In this circumcision done by the Messiah,
In Christ you were also circumcised, but not with a circumcision done by hands [Rom. 2:28; Phil. 3:3]. It was ·a circumcision done by Christ [L the circumcision of Christ], which ·freed you from [put off; cut away] ·the power of your sinful self [your sinful nature; L the body of flesh; C just as OT circumcision cut off the physical flesh, so Christ’s circumcision “cuts off” the “flesh”—the power of our sinful self].
In union with Christ you were circumcised, not with the circumcision that is made by human beings, but with the circumcision made by Christ, which consists of being freed from the power of this sinful self.
In Christ you had a different kind of circumcision. That circumcision was not done by hands. I mean, you were made free from the power of your sinful self. That is the kind of circumcision Christ does.
In Christ, you were circumcised, not by any physical act, but by being set free from the sins of the flesh by virtue of Christ’s circumcision. You, so to speak, shared in that, just as in baptism you shared in his death, and in him are sharing the miracle of rising again to new life—and all this because you have faith in the tremendous power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. You, who were spiritually dead because of your sins and your uncircumcision (i.e. the fact that you were outside the Law), God has now made to share in the very life of Christ! He has forgiven you all your sins: Christ has utterly wiped out the damning evidence of broken laws and commandments which always hung over our heads, and has completely annulled it by nailing it over his own head on the cross. And then having drawn the sting of all the powers ranged against us, he exposed them, shattered, empty and defeated, in his final glorious triumphant act!
Entering into this fullness is not something you figure out or achieve. It’s not a matter of being circumcised or keeping a long list of laws. No, you’re already in—insiders—not through some secretive initiation rite but rather through what Christ has already gone through for you, destroying the power of sin. If it’s an initiation ritual you’re after, you’ve already been through it by submitting to baptism. Going under the water was a burial of your old life; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead as he did Christ. When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s cross. He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.
Also in Christ you had a different kind of circumcision, a circumcision not done by hands. It was through Christ’s circumcision, that is, his death, that you were made free from the power of your sinful self.
When you became a Christian, you were set free from the sinful things of the world. This was not done by human hands. You were set free from the sins of your old self by what was done in Christ’s body.
In him, indeed, you were circumcised with a special, new type of circumcision. It isn’t something that human hands can do. It is the king’s version of circumcision, and it happens when you put off the ‘body of flesh’:
In Moshiach also you were circumcised with a Bris Milah not made with human hands, a Bris Milah of the surgically removing of the body of the basar (old fallen and unregenerate nature) in the Bris Milah of Moshiach,
Through our union with him we have experienced circumcision of heart. All of the guilt and power of sin has been cut away and is now extinct because of what Christ, the Anointed One, has accomplished for us.
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