Colossians 2:11-15 – “In Whom also you are circumcised with the Circumcision made without hands (that which is brought about by the Cross [Rom. 6:3-5]), in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the Circumcision of Christ (refers to the old carnal nature that is defeated by the Believer placing his Faith totally in the Cross, which gives the Holy Spirit latitude to work):
“Buried with Him in Baptism (does not refer to Water Baptism, but rather to the Believer baptized into the death of Christ, which refers to the Crucifixion and Christ as our substitute [Rom. 6:3-4]), wherein also you are risen with Him through the Faith of the operation of God, Who has raised Him from the dead. (This does not refer to our future physical Resurrection, but to that spiritual Resurrection from a sinful state into Divine Life. We died with Him, we are buried with Him, and we rose with Him [Rom. 6:3-5], and herein lies the secret to all Spiritual Victory.)
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh (speaks of spiritual death [i.e., ‘separation from God’], which sin does!), has He quickened together with Him (refers to being made spiritually alive, which is done through being ‘Born-Again’), having forgiven you all trespasses (the Cross made it possible for all manner of sins to be forgiven and taken away);
“Blotting out the handwriting of Ordinances that was against us (pertains to the Law of Moses, which was God’s Standard of Righteousness that man could not reach), which was contrary to us (Law is against us, simply because we are unable to keep its precepts, no matter how hard we try), and took it out of the way (refers to the penalty of the Law being removed), nailing it to His Cross (the Law with its decrees was abolished in Christ’s Death, as if Crucified with Him);
“And having spoiled principalities and powers (Satan and all of his henchmen were defeated at the Cross by Christ atoning for all sin; sin was the legal right Satan had to hold man in captivity; with all sin atoned, he has no more legal right to hold anyone in bondage), He (Christ) made a show of them openly (what Jesus did at the Cross was in the face of the whole universe), triumphing over them in it. (The triumph is complete and it was all done for us, meaning we can walk in power and perpetual Victory due to the Cross.)”
In the above Scripture, Paul qualifies why our Faith should remain in the Cross. In the last two installments of this series we have laid the foundation for this statement. The first two benefits have already been discussed. They were:
BENEFIT #1 – A Person is Born-Again as a result of Faith in the Cross.
BENEFIT #2 – My Faith in the Cross brings me freedom from the dominion of the sin nature.
Now let’s go on to discuss benefit number three:
“Buried with Him in Baptism. . . .”
BENEFIT #3 – My Baptism into Christ makes me one with Him. I am “in Christ.”
The term “baptism” is often misunderstood in Christendom. For the Believer there are three forms of baptism that every Believer can and should encounter. These are illustrated throughout the New Testament, making these three baptisms a “normal Christian experience.” They are Baptism into the Body, Baptism with Water, and Baptism with the Spirit. The Baptism into the Body is the supernatural event of the believing sinner being merged into the Body of Christ. It is the Salvation experience. In I Corinthians 12:13 the Bible states, “For by one Spirit are we all 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.” This is where the believing sinner is made one with Christ. Their Faith in Christ and what He accomplished for them at Calvary gives them the position of being “in Christ.”
Other Scriptures that describe this Spiritual event are Romans 6:3 and Galatians 3:27. As a result of the Believer’s new union with Christ he has become a “new creation in Christ Jesus.” Baptism with water does not bring about or complete Salvation, it is an outward Testimony to the world that a Spiritual New Birth within has occurred. The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is a second subsequent Work of Grace upon the heart of the Believer, separate and distinct from Salvation. It has the accompanying evidence of speaking in Tongues. This baptism does not save but rather endues the Believer with Power to be a witness of Christ in this present evil world. The different events regarding baptism are to be interpreted by their Scriptural setting.
In this case, the benefit of being Saved and being made one with Christ is what Paul is referring to. The term “buried” is not literal but Spiritual. It describes the fact of the person I once was, dominated by the sin nature, of having been crucified with Christ. The old man was buried with Christ as well. You bury something you no longer plan on seeing. The person I once was has been crucified with Christ and buried. It is God’s Design that this Spiritual Truth remains consistent with my everyday life. Please also note that Benefits 3, 4, and 5 hold the idea of the term “co-” as in co-baptized, co-raised, and co-quickened. This simply portrays the sense that as this happened to Christ it also has happened to the Believer.
“. . . Wherein also you are risen with Him through the Faith of the operation of God, Who has raised Him from the dead.”
BENEFIT #4 – Co-raised with Him and in Him by Faith – not raised separately.
When Jesus was raised from death to life, I was in Him. Therefore, I sit now with Him in Heavenly places. Ephesians 2:6 says, “And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Even though I have a journey to complete on this Earth in the Mind of God we who are one with Christ, have been raised from death to life, and are already a part of the congregation of Heaven. I have been co-raised with Christ.
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has He quickened together with Him. . . .”
BENEFIT #5 – Co-quickened or energized by the Spirit of God.
Not only have I been co-buried and co-raised, but the potential of being co-quickened lies within my grasp. The old power source available to the sinner was the limited power of self. Now I have a new Power Source available, the Person of the Holy Spirit, and it is He who aids me in this Christian experience. Evidence of this event can be found in Ephesians 2:4-5 where the Scriptures say, “But God, who is rich in Mercy, for His great Love wherewith He loved us, (5) Even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ. . . .” However, the Work of the Holy Spirit certainly doesn’t stop here.
As the Power Source for the Christian life He energizes the Believer with Power to live the Christian life. In Romans 8:11 the Bible says, “But if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He Who raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in you.” To “quicken” means to make alive. Some point to this Scripture is speaking of the coming Rapture or Resurrection. However, the content of Romans, Chapter 8, is Christian living and progressive Sanctification. Therefore, as long as my Faith remains in Christ and His Atoning Work, the Spirit of God enables me to live the Christian life.
Why should I place my faith in Christ and Him Crucified?
1. Faith in Christ’s Cross causes a person to be Born-Again.
2. Faith in Christ’s Cross brings me freedom from the dominion of the sin nature.
3. Faith in Christ’s Cross causes them to be co-buried with Christ – to be made one with Him.
4. Faith in Christ’s Cross causes the Believer to be co-raised with Him and to live in Him.
5. Faith in Christ’s Cross co-quickens or energizes the Believer by the Spirit of God.
These are the first five of nine benefits. There are four more benefits that we will talk about in future segments.