By Bob Myhan
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. (Col. 2:814)
Paul is here reminding the physically uncircumcised saints in Colosse that they had been circumcised with a "circumcision made without hands," and that they had been “buried,” “raised” and “made alive together with” Christ, “forgiven ... all trespasses” when they were baptized.
Since there is only "one baptism" (Eph. 4:5), not two or more, and since water baptism is commanded (Acts 10:48) and is “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38), this circumcision ["putting off the body of the sins of the flesh"] must have taken place when they were baptized in water.
At the time Paul wrote this letter, the Jewish believers were seeking to make the church nothing more than another Jewish sect such as the Pharisees and Sadducees. They were doing this by pressuring Gentile believers to submit to physical circumcision as a condition of salvation.
Paul’s point is that the Gentiles had received the only circumcision that mattered when they were baptized in water for the remission of sins. Paul pointed out, in his epistle to the Romans, that it was spiritual, not physical, circumcision that made one's heart right with God (Rom. 2:25-29).
One’s sins are forgiven when he is baptized because baptism is the final condition of forgiveness for the alien sinner. It is also because baptism is the final condition of forgiveness that baptism is said to put one into Christ and into the one body.
Thus, if one wishes to be “buried” with Christ, “raised” with Christ, “made alive together” with Christ, and “forgiven ... all trespasses,” one must be baptized in water “for the remission of sins.” If this is not the case, why is it not? &
SETH - ADAM’S OTHER SON
One question that all of us can answer is: Name the two sons of Adam and Eve. There would hardly be anyone among us who would not immediately reply Cain and Abel. But there is another son that we know very little about at all. We are introduced to him in Genesis 4:25; “Eve gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, ‘God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.’"
I have known only a few men named Seth. It is also the name brand of a clock, but that's about it. Maybe the obscurity of Seth has something to say about us.
Seth's obscurity illustrates the world's tendency to notice the very good and the very bad and ignore the ordinary individual. We all know Cain. He is the first murderer on record. He killed his brother and the reason he did it is because his heart was evil. Had the mass media been around in the days of Cain, he surely would have made the 10 o'clock news and would have rated the headline in the morning paper. Anyone who knows anything about the Bible knows Cain.
And the same would be true about Abel, the victim. He was a good man, so good in fact that his righteousness incited the jealousy and anger of his brother.
But who remembers Seth? He's the other one, the one who turned out all right. He is the ordinary one. Nothing more is ever said of him in the Bible than this: "When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father of Enosh. And after he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and then he died" (Genesis 5:6-8). These are his only known accomplishments. Seth comes upon the scene, marries, has children and dies. And that is about the way it is with us so far as worldly acclaim is concerned.
But in addition to reminding us of our own lives, Seth's obscurity serves as a reminder of the importance of people in the plan of God. You see, Seth provided the continuity of God's plan.
Somewhere along the line, children are taught the names of those persons who were a part of the genealogy of Jesus from Adam on down. Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Lamech etc. ... all from Noah down to Abraham. To a child, having to learn this might seem like a waste of time, but in that line Seth is a link. Seth was a carrier of the promise that God made with His people. After the murder of Abel by Cain, God started again with Seth. & Selected & Edited [The Reminder, Vol. 4, Number 11]