The Circumcised Heart
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. (Colossians 2:10-11)
Paul made it a point to use specific terminology when discussing the gentile believers here in Colossians 2:10-11. The first phrase you should note is complete in Him.
In the first century, Judaizers went from church to church, telling the Gentiles they were not yet wholly Christian until they had a physical circumcision performed.
The Jewish adherents of circumcision understood the historicity of this sign of the covenant. When God came to Abram (eventually called Abraham) in Genesis 17, He asked Abram to make a physical mark of covenant between his people and God. That sign of the covenant was the physical circumcision of every male, including Abraham himself, who was 99 years old. This was a tangible sign of Abraham’s and his people’s covenant with God.
Paul wrote this text in Colossians 2:10-11 to explain that the circumcision of those in the New Covenant is not made physically; instead, it is a circumcision of the heart.
Just as physical circumcision involves cutting off a part of the male's flesh, heart circumcision is deciding to follow God and put our flesh under the subjection of the Word.
We have been circumcised, not physically, but in our hearts. We have been made covenant people.
Practical Application – Circumcision was a physical act to demonstrate a relationship with and devotion to God. New Covenant circumcision isn’t supposed to be different. Ask yourself this week, “Can people tell I have a relationship with God by how I act and speak?”
1 Corinthians 7:19; Galatians 6:15