Col. 2:13a And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh,
This week I started a series of blog posts on “physical fitness” because it’s something I believe is very important for Christians, and I’ve struggled with it most of my life. But another reason is I’ve noticed how these physical challenges illustrate spiritual ones in my relationship with God.
For instance every year at almost the same time I end up gaining weight (learn more by clicking here). Seriously even when I go out of my way to prepare for the physical let-down in March it still happens
The Lord uses experiences like this to show my weakness and need of Him, but it goes even deeper than that.
In the eyes of God I am dead
Now obviously the Apostle Paul who wrote Colossians 2:13 (using words given to him by God) wasn’t referring to literal death. Instead he is referring to an inability to save ourselves; just like a dead body can’t come up out of the ground, you and I cannot glorify God in our own strength (Romans 5:6, Ephesians 2:1, 5)
If you would allow me to describe this in a way we can better understand-Paul is telling these people they were addicts. Individuals who couldn’t choose God if they wanted to (which they didn’t).
Paul continues by explaining what there were addicted to
- Uncircumcision of their flesh
The trespasses seems pretty self explanatory (we are addicted to sin and cannot stop doing it) but what in the world does Paul mean by uncircumcision of the flesh?
Again it’s obvious Paul isn’t referring to the physical act here because it would be impossible to do this more than once. Instead the word uncircumcision refers to a way of life.
The thing is circumcision was never meant to be just a physical act. Instead it was symbolic of a heart that eliminated sin, or anything else that separated a person from God. Paul explains this clearly in Romans chapter two.
Rom. 2:28 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical.
Rom. 2:29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.
Paul writes this to Jews who boasted about keeping all of the law (outer actions) but had no real heart relationship with God. So we are addicted to a way of life that looks very Godly on the outside, but on the inside is miles away from the Lord.
The first part of Colossians 2:3 then shares a VERY clear message
Given the choice between my way and Gods way I will choose my way every day of the week
Not because I don’t want to choose God (because sometimes I will want to) but because as a sin addict I CAN’T choose God.
Okay so what in the world does this have to do with healthy eating?
Eventually I will choose the donut (what I want to eat) over vegetables
It is possible to choose healthy eating short-term since it isn’t a spiritual challenge…however as addicts to sin we are bound to choose our own way eventually.
Which is why we need God’s help
And I’m so thankful there is more to Colossians 2:13