Summary: The Supremacy and Sufficiency of Christ, part 9 Believer's Baptism Colossians 2:11-15 David Taylor March 22, 2015
The Supremacy and Sufficiency of Christ, part 9
March 22, 2015
We are in chapter two of Paul's letter to the Colossian church, in our series, “The Supremacy and Sufficiency of Christ.” Paul wrote this letter to help the Colossian church remain faithful to Christ in the face of false teaching by seeing Christ as supreme over all things and sufficient for our every need. This week we move forward several verses to look at baptism as we are having a baptism today.
Big Idea – Baptism is a picture of our being united with Christ.
Baptism is a Picture of What God Has Done in Us (v. 11-13)
Paul gives us two pictures that describes the work of God in us, subjectively, in our lives. The first is circumcision, which Paul describes as a 'circumcision made without hands.' 'Made without hands' is similar to language used in several places in the New Testament contrasting what man makes and what God makes. This circumcision is one performed by God. Circumcision under the Old Covenant identified a Jew as being part of the people of God. But more importantly, it pointed to their greatest need, a circumcision of the heart which was fulfilled in the New Covenant with a spiritual circumcision, the new birth.
The next picture that describes the work of God in us is resurrection. Those who have been spiritually circumcised or born again have been buried with him and also raised up with him through faith. Let me make a couple of observations about baptism. Paul uses past tense language when referring to baptism so we can assume they have all been baptized and that is confirm by the New Testament pattern, to believe and be baptized. In our being buried with him, there is a real death to our old nature and our old way of life that goes down and engulfed in the waters of baptism. With the death of our old nature, there is a removing of the power of sin as the dominating principle in our lives when we come to Christ. Yet we are also raised with him, spiritually into newness of life. This is through faith in the powerful working of God who raised Jesus from the dead. This resurrection to new life is described in verse thirteen, “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh God made alive together with him.” Begin born again is God making spiritually dead people alive! So we see so far that baptism is described in two pictures of what God has done in us. First, spiritual circumcision, which pictures our new birth and second, resurrection, which pictures our new life in Christ. Then Paul describes baptism in two more pictures of what God has done for us, objectively, outside us two thousand years ago.
Baptism is a Picture of What God Has Done for Us (vs. 14-15)
The reason God can make dead people alive is because in the death of Christ, God has defeated our two great enemies, sin and Satan. He has defeat sin by canceling the record of debt that stood against us. Our sin is held up against us in a court of law as a legal document pointing to our indebtedness to God. We are charged as guilty and the debt we owe to God is so large we cannot dig ourselves out. But then he tells us that he canceled the whole list against us by paying for it all on the cross. Christ paid for all your sins on the cross – not some of your sins, not most of your sins, but all of your sins, setting them aside by nailing them to the cross. Why the cross? Because the cross is where your debt was paid. The second picture that is given to us is the defeat of our other great enemy, Satan. God 'disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame triumphing over them in Christ.' The cross which looked like a defeat in the eyes of men and Satan was actually God's victory in which he defeated both sin and Satan. The imagery is of a victorious king after battle parading their victims through Rome as a spectacle for all to see. All the evil spiritual beings who are a threat to you have been stripped of their power to accuse and taunt you by holding your sins against you. So when you are taunted by your past sin, you say to the voices, my sin has been forgiven, canceled on the cross! So baptism is a picture of what God has done in us subjectively through the picture of circumcision as our new birth, being born again, and resurrection, giving us our new life. Baptism is also a picture of what God has done for us objectively, by defeating our two great enemies, sin and Satan.