Doctrines of Salvation
Lesson #4 : Spiritual Circumcision (Colossians 2:9-13)
In the study we are going to be looking at the subject of Spiritual Circumcision. This is one of the most important doctrines of Salvation. It not only shows us eternal security, but it explains why we can sin after salvation and not lose our salvation.
In the passage for this study, we see that there is a circumcision mentioned that is connected directly with Salvation. When we see the word circumcision, we think about the physical circumcision that God gave Abraham in the Old Testament. But there are some things in this passage that clearly show us that this circumcision is not a physical circumcision but a spiritual one. Let us look at these things.
1) Circumcision made without hands (verse 11)
- This is not the physical circumcision.
2) Putting off the body of the sins of the flesh (verse 11)
- Physical circumcision did not put off the body of the sins of the flesh.
3) Operation of God (verse 12)
- Man performed physical circumcision.
4) Dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh (verse 13)
- There are many people who are physically circumcised when they are saved yet this passage makes it seem like they were not.
What is Spiritual Circumcision?
In the previous lesson of this series, we saw that man is a body, soul, and a spirit. When we studied the soul, we saw that it is the real us and has a bodily shape that is within our fleshly bodies. This is the part of us that goes to heaven or hell depending upon whether you are saved or lost.
Before salvation the soul is stuck to the flesh. Note in Leviticus 5:1-10 it is the soul that touches the unclean thing. The soul before salvation is stuck to the flesh therefore when the flesh touches something unclean it is unclean. There is no separation between the two. Therefore verse 13 says that you are dead in your sins that the uncircumcision of your flesh.
When a person receives salvation in the church age God performs a spiritual operation on them (verse 12). This operation separates between the body and the soul. This is the reason why verse 11 says, “putting off the body of the sins of the flesh”. The soul is now loose from the flesh but still on the inside of man. This is also why we are said to be a new creature in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17).
How is this connected with Eternal Security?
Along with this process the word of God says that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit when we are saved as well in the church age (Ephesians 1:13-14 ; Ephesians 4:30). When God separates the body from the Soul during spiritual circumcision, he also seals the souls until the rapture of the church.
So, we are eternally secured because our soul is sealed. And when we sin after we are saved it is the flesh that sins and it does not touch the soul as in the Old Testament because the soul is sealed until the day of redemption. This process of spiritual circumcision then explains why we can sin after salvation and not lose salvation. As Paul wrote many times this is not a license to sin. When we sin, we will be chastened of God for sin, but we will not lose our salvation.
Doctrines of Salvation
Lesson #4 : Spiritual Circumcision (Colossians 2:9-13) Handout
1) What are some of the things in the passage that show us that this is a spiritual process and not physical circumcision?
2) What is spiritual circumcision?
3) What does spiritual circumcision do for us in a doctrinal sense?
4) What other event is spiritual circumcision connected with?