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Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 41
Colossians 2:1-13 – Part 2
I had a letter from one of our listeners yesterday who said, “My husband and I watch the program sitting on the back row of your class in our recliners” Well that’s a nice way to put it. They’re actually not back there, but they are whether they’re watching us. We like to hear comments like that, and how we appreciate your letters. I think the thing that thrills us the most is for example a couple made the comment last week, “you have turned our Bibles into something that was collecting dust, to where we study them now everyday, and are wearing them out.” We just want people to realize that this is the greatest Book ever written. You can’t plum the depths of it or exhaust it.
Now back to where we left off in Colossians chapter 2. You know I didn’t finish my thoughts in the two verses 11 and 13 dealing with circumcision and our being dead in sins, but now we are circumcised Spiritually and we’ve been made alive Spiritually. So come back with me to verse 11 and 13 and let’s read verse 13 again first.
“And you being dead in your sins (a Spiritual death) and the uncircumcision of your flesh, (that’s where we were genetically. We’re not in the family of Abraham, but rather we were Gentiles) hath he (God) quickened (or made us alive) together with him, (which of course ties us to His death, burial, and resurrection. And the moment we beloved that Gospel of Salvation, God forgave us.) having forgiven you all trespasses:” Now we’ll come back to forgiveness a little later, but for now let’s also look at verse 11.
“In whom (Christ Who is the fullness of the Godhead of verse 9) also ye are circumcised (now we are circumcised, not in the flesh, but Spiritually) with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh (remember circumcision depicts a cutting off of that which was superfluous. So for the believer now we have had something cut off which is no longer necessary and it is the old Adam.) by the circumcision of (or by) Christ:”
Now I’ve put this much on the board for starters. Body, Soul and Spirit, and I don’t know how I can best approach this, but let’s try. See when Adam was created, he was a complete entity of body, soul, and spirit. The soul was that personality of mind, will, and emotions, but it was in tune with his Creator. The spirit was the communicating part with his Creator, and the body of course enjoyed all the ramifications of this beautiful relationship with God Himself. But the moment Adam ate of that tree in disobedience to God this soul became a sin nature. All it could think was that which was contrary to that which is Holy and Spiritual and God. Adam’s spirit of course immediately died when he ate. The body of Adam began to die (the Lord still let him live 930 years). So that’s what happened the moment Adam sinned.
Now we come along as Gentiles on the other side of the cross, and now Paul teaches that the moment we believe for our salvation that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose from the dead in power and victory over the adversary, then all we have to do is believe it with all our heart. Because we recognize before believing that this is our state, that we’re sinners, we’re enemies of God and the moment we believe Paul’s Gospel, God reckons old Adam as crucified with Christ. Now in our old Adam is where our Spiritual circumcision comes into play. God reckons old Adam as dead, and in his place the power of God has now given us a new nature which is Spiritual, it’s the very nature of God Himself. This then comprises that circumcision by Jesus the Christ where He cuts off that old adamic sin nature and replaces it with a new nature. And at the same time He regenerates our Spirit, and that’s the best word to use, He regenerates it.
I once gave the illustration of a car battery. If you leave your lights on all night and get to the car the next morning, you’ll find the battery dead. It’s useless, and has absolutely no power whatsoever. I gave the illustration that you could go out with a pan and some hot soapy water and really clean up that battery to where it would look brand new. But when you get in the car what happens? Nothing. And see that’s what most of Christendom is trying to do today. They’re trying to simply clean up the outside with the effort of the flesh, but they’re still dead.
I read the other day, and I’m not going to say I agree with it, but someone was of the opinion that probably 60% of American Church members are lost. Well I’m not going to say he’s wrong and I’m not going to say he’s right, but I know what a lot of those Church members are doing. They’re just simply trying to clean up the outside. There’s nothing wrong with being good. My the world needs good people, but that’s not going to prepare you for eternity. So the only way we can get that car battery to where it’s worth what it’s suppose to be is to what? Regenerate it! And where do you get the power to regenerate it? From an outside source. And that’s exactly what has happened here. God now with His outside power has regenerated our dead spirit. He has now crucified old Adam, He’s cut him off, and He has given us a new nature, and these two entities now of course have their effect of the body, and how we behave as believers.
That’s what these two verses are showing. On one hand we’re Gentiles in the flesh, and on the other hand we were spiritually dead until the power of the Gospel made us come alive the moment we believed. For those of you who doubt me, we have a long list of verses covering that. We send them out constantly to people on how to be saved and there is not one word in there about doing anything but believe for salvation. Now under Law yes, works were required for salvation, but under this age of Grace through the writings of the apostle Paul, you must only believe.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;…”
I Corinthians 1:18
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved (by believing) it is the power of God.” (unto salvation)
“That if thou shalt confess with the mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness….” (becomes right with God)
The world is constantly trying to say just like they did in Paul’s day. “That’s not enough. You’ve also got to do this or that.” Paul’s Gospel says, “Christ did it all!” It’s done, it’s complete, and we dare not try to add to it. Remember Galatians tells us that if you add to it, then you cancel it! But that’s what so many do. Ok, back to Colossians 2 verses 11 and 13, which now make a little more sense.
“In whom (in Christ by virtue of our believing the Gospel and we’ve been placed in Christ by the Holy Spirit, which you’ll to see in verse 12) also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands (spiritual. The cutting off of our old Adam. That which defeats us every time we turn around. But he’s been taken away so far as his influence) in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:” Then down to verse 13.
“And you, being dead in your sins (absolutely, we were as under the control of the old nature, our spirit was completely out of fellowship with God and so that’s what Paul says we were in the world. We were dead in sin) and the uncircumcision of your flesh (by virtue of being Gentiles) but hath he (God) quickened (has regenerated our spirit. He has crucified old Adam and has given us a new nature. A divine nature) together with him, having (already) forgiven you all trespasses.”
Now let’s look at Colossians 3:13. And again, Paul repeats this twice in two chapters to drive it home. And oh, most of Christendom has a hard time swallowing this, I know they do. But here it is again.
“Forbearing one another, (remember, he’s writing to believers congregated in an assembly) and forgiving one another, if any may have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
Now look at that verse very carefully. Is there any demand in that verse that you forgive your enemy before you can be saved? NO! That’s already done by the Grace of God. You’re forgiven. But now since you and I are forgiven, what should we be ready to do? Forgive whoever we have ought against, whether it’s in the Church or neighborhood or whatever. There is nothing stipulated in Paul’s Gospel, nor his writings that first we have to forgive everybody before we can be forgiven like the Lord Jesus said during His earthly ministry under Law. For example, The Lord’s Prayer isn’t appropriate for us today. The Lord’s Prayer was under Law. It was to Israel. And it says “forgive us our trespasses (when?) as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Now that’s Law. And absolutely a Jew could not be forgiven until he went and forgave his neighbor. But that doesn’t hold true today. We’re forgiven by the Grace of God. And if we’re forgiven, then why in the world can’t we forgive our neighbor? That’s the teaching. So twice in two chapters he says we have been forgiven of all our trespasses and all our sins. Now let’s go back to Ephesians 2:1.
“And you (writing to these Ephesian believers) hath he (Christ) quickened (made alive. Same concept. As soon as we believe the Gospel, God imparted to us that new divine nature. He gave us the regeneration of the spirit. It’s divine, eternal life that we are now partakers of) who were dead in trespasses and sins: 2. Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world (everyone did) according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. 3. Among whom also we all (he included himself) had our conversation (manner of living) in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (doing what comes naturally like everybody else.) 4. But (the flip side) God (not me, not I, but God) who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us. 5. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved:) 6. Hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” (see our position now as believers?) Now verse 8.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; (plus how much? NOTHING! There’s nothing else listed here. It’s by grace through faith) and that not of yourselves; it is the (what?) gift of God:” How much work do you do for a gift? NONE! But, people are having all this stuff laid on them. There is nothing in here that says you’ve got to do such and such except believe that Christ has already done it. It’s finished! And we can’t add to it.
Now, back to Colossians 2:12. I’m going to repeat something that I said on my program years ago and I’ll repeat it again and for years to come if the Lord’s tarries. There is probably no other one thing in all of Christendom that will cause enmity and will just make the hair stand up on the back of people’s necks like baptism. I’ve learned it first hand, over and over. You disagree with somebody on baptism and you may have had the best friend in the world, but he is no more. It simply puts a division between people and there’s more arguing and more controversy over baptism and who should be baptized and how they should be baptized and it almost gets disconcerting. It’s not in Paul’s instruction to the Church age believer. It is not to be something that should be divisive. Verse 12.
“Buried with him (with Christ) in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”
Let’s read it again. “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.”
Now, I don’t know which way to start. Should I start with the Holy Spirit, or should I start over in here. Let’s start with the Holy Spirit. And go to I Corinthians chapter 12 and we’ll start at verse 12. And I guess you all know this is still Paul writing to the believers at Corinth who had a lot of problems. We covered all that when we taught the Corinthian letters.
I Corinthians 12:12
“For as the body (this body that we live in) is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, (still one body) are one body: so also is Christ.”
I have put this over and over on the board that the Body which is the Church, is strictly a Pauline term. Nobody, nobody – the Lord didn’t, Peter didn’t, the other disciples didn’t, the Old Testament, Revelation doesn’t – speaks of the Body of Christ but Paul. Check me out. Search the Scriptures. You’ll never find the term, “The Body of Christ” except Romans through Philemon. If you want to go on through Hebrews, and I feel Paul wrote it, although he wrote it as it says, to the Hebrews. But never does anybody use the term “The Body of Christ”except Paul. So here is another instance that he’s using this as an example. Our physical body which is composed of everything from the little toe that usually no one ever sees, to our facial features which everyone sees. Now, that’s the Body of Christ.
We’re all functioning in a different area of the Body and yet we are all intrinsically important to the function of the body. But remember, the body stops here. The rest is what? Head! And who’s the head of the body? Christ is. He is the nerve center of the Body, which is the church. Now that again, is all part and parcel of Paul’s language – that Christ, by virtue of His finished work of the cross, by His justifying us by faith and faith alone, He in turn places us into this living, spiritual organism that Paul calls the Body of Christ. Now, how do we get in to the body of Christ? You can’t buy your way in. You can’t work your way in. So you have to do something else and what is it? Nothing except believe! Now let’s look at verse 13.
I Corinthians 12:13
“For by one Spirit (Holy Spirit) are we (what’s the next word?) all (not just the elite, nor the clergy, not the deacons, not just the good people, but every believer, whatever his station in life, whatever his behavior as a believer. He may be rather carnal like the Corinthians were, but every believer. And what’s the next word?) baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”
Look at the first two words of verse 13. They’re prepositions. “For by one Spirit.” Not by a denomination, or by a preacher, or by some cult leader. There is only one valid baptizer in the Church Age and that is the Holy Spirit. And this is the Holy Spirit baptism that Paul teaches, and it happens the moment we believe. Now let me show you in Ephesians, chapter 1 and verse 13.
“In whom ye also trusted, (or placed your faith) after that ye heard the word of truth, gospel of your salvation: (what did you do with it?) in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.”
I’m not doing any violence to Scripture to say at that same moment you were baptized by the Holy Spirit and thereby God branded us as His own. And so the only valid baptism, spiritually speaking, is when the Holy Spirit baptizes us into the Body of Christ. Now the reason I have to emphasize that is because of Ephesians chapter 4 and verse 4. Oh, this is hard for people to swallow but it is so plain and simple in the Book. Just as simple as it can be.
“There is one body, ( not 1500. I read somewhere the other day that there were 1500 Christian denominations in California alone. But there isn’t.) and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling: 5. One Lord, one faith, one (what?) baptism.” (And what is it? The Holy Spirit. It’s the only one that counts. Now I don’t forbid water baptism. All I tell people is that it has nothing to do with your eternal destiny because the only baptism that counts for eternity is, “have you been placed into the Body of Christ by the baptizing power of the Holy Spirit?” If you haven’t had that, you’re doomed. I don’t care how many times you’re baptized in water, it’s the Holy Spirit baptism that settles it for eternity.