November 12 – Freedom

Colossians 2: 11- 15 (New Living Translation NLT)

“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. 12 For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.

13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. 15 In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

Paul begins this section with a reference to circumcision.  Jewish readers (and Gentiles too) definitely knew that circumcision was the mark of a “true” Jew.  Genesis 17: 10 – 11 talks about this covenant between God and his nation of Israel:

“This is the covenant that you and your descendants must keep: Each male among you must be circumcised.  You must cut off the flesh of your foreskin as a sign of the covenant between me and you.”  

But new believers in Christ, whether they be Jews or Gentiles, don’t need to follow this procedure anymore.  Jesus’ death and resurrection has changed everything. Our faith in what Jesus has done for us is what makes us God’s children – not circumcision. 

Paul mentions that baptism is now the sign of a believer’s faith. Baptism is a symbol of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. As we are baptized, we go under the water, a symbol of death, and then we are lifted out of the water, a symbol of resurrection and new life. Being baptized doesn’t make us a child of God; it is just a public declaration that we have accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for us personally. If you are a believer in Jesus, and have never taken that step, I encourage you to contact the church office or anyone on staff, and tell them you would like to do that.

Again, Paul can’t emphasize enough that we have freedom when we believe that Jesus died for us personally. “You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.  He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.  In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.” (v. 13 – 15)  

How deeply do you believe that? How often do you think about things from your past that you regret? How often do you think you are not good enough, that God doesn’t have anything special for you in his plans? 

In Christ you are free and forgiven! God can use you in your family, in your neighbourhood, in your city, in your church. Know how secure you are, loved by God.

Our song for today is Who Am I by Casting Crowns

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