Let’s read Colossians 2:10-12, “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.” What a wonderful portion belongs to all those who have put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are COMPLETE IN HIM. In contrast to the emptiness of all the world has to offer, we are complete, or made full, in Christ…the One who is the head of all principality and power. We rejoice in knowing that Christ is “…the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” (Ephesians 1:22-23) Yet, the thought here is that He is over ALL things. He is over all kings and kingdoms.

There were those who were teaching that the Gentiles must be circumcised, even as the Jews were commanded under the law to do. The Apostle Paul explains here that true believers have already experienced true circumcision. Circumcision was a type of cutting off the flesh of sin, and so Paul points out here that in the true circumcision, we have put off “the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.” To those who were using circumcision as a means of salvation, Paul wrote in Galatians 5:3-4, “For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” The keeping of the law, of which circumcision was a part, is a type of works. If a person tries to work for his salvation, then the work of Christ on the cross is useless to him. They are “fallen from grace”, or they have left that lofty position of relying solely on the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus for their salvation. They have left that platform of faith and fallen to a lower platform, one that depends on their works in place of the work of Christ.

Now let’s look at Colossians 2:12, “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” This verse is tied to verse 11. Where, for the Jews, circumcision was a picture of ‘putting away the body of the sins of the flesh, we have baptism as a picture of the burial of the body of the sins of the flesh, or what is called “our old man” (Romans 6:6), that nature and standing that was ours before we came to Christ. Not only does baptism represent the burial of our old man, but it also calls us to consider our identification with the Lord in His baptism. We read in Romans 6:4, “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” This newness of life is spoken of in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW.”

It is vital that we realize that baptism itself does not save. It is only faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that saves. We read in Romans 10:9-10, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” There is no mention of baptism in these verses concerning salvation. Acts 16:31 tells us, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Again, there is no mention of baptism here when speaking of the way of salvation. Baptism is not a means of salvation, but it is an act of obedience to the one who puts his faith in the Lord Jesus. May we who have been saved and have been baptized be sure to live lives that reflect the new life that we have in Christ Jesus. (231.6)