What happens in salvation through Jesus Christ? Paul demonstrates to us what takes place in the believer, the new reality that they step into when they receive Christ. We must understand what Jesus will to a person that comes to Him in faith if we are to beware of trying to add to His work.
“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: 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. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
Paul starts by using two symbols of separation. First, circumcision, and second, baptism. The Judaizers taught that faith in Christ was not sufficient. Instead, a person needed to be circumcised as well. Paul first shares that when a person comes to faith in Christ, a circumcision (cutting away) is performed without hands. This circumcision without hands is of the person’s heart (Romans 2:29). We put off sin. The same idea if furthered with the picture of baptism. Where circumcision was the idea that you put off a little skin, baptism shows that you are putting off an entire way of life.
He continues, not only has the old life been put off, you receive new life through Christ. Your sins are forgiven and completely blotted out of God’s record book. By Jesus’ death on the cross, one that was mocked then and now, Jesus stripped all the enemies of God and the Church of their power. Jesus at his weakest, physical moment, was able to put openly to shame all the great powers of darkness.
Paul’s conclusion: All you need is Jesus Christ!