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The flesh has been cut away

Col 2:6-11 Therefore, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and firm in your faith just as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Be careful not to allow anyone to captivate you through an empty, deceitful philosophy that is according to human traditions and the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him all the fullness of deity lives in bodily form, and you have been filled in him, who is the head over every ruler and authority. In him you also were circumcised – not, however, with a circumcision performed by human hands, but by the removal of the fleshly body, that is, through the circumcision done by Christ.

The flesh appears to have a power of its own. It will protect itself at all costs. It will make sure it is fed and watered and nurtured. It forms habits that seem impossible to break. Its emotions drag us from a mountain top to a dark valley in moments. We give the flesh credit for the good things we do and blame it for the bad. We identify with the flesh. We preen it and we do what we can to mold it to an acceptable image. We look in a mirror and we say “that is who I am.”  This is an illusion, because this is not who we are in Christ.

When God looks at us he does not look at our flesh. He looks at our new heart and our new mind and He sees Christ in us. How can that be? It is in part because Christ has cut away our flesh. We have been circumcised. Much of our futile human effort to control and to mold the flesh is pure folly. We are trying to accomplish what only Christ can do for us. The truth is that we have been separated from the flesh as surely as Abraham was separated from his foreskin. Like Abraham we struggle to produce life out of our obedience, our good works, our good intentions, our efforts to make pretty our dying flesh. Like Abraham, we can not produce the life that only God can produce. Life is not found in the flesh. The flesh stares us in the face every day. It is seen. Its foibles are there for all to see, often despite our best efforts to hide them. We can always find sin in our flesh.

Col 2:9 For in him all the fullness of deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head over every ruler and authority. Take those words to heart. This is who you are. A dwelling place for Christ who in Him the fullness of deity lives. You have been filled with Him! He is head over every ruler and authority and He has dealt with your flesh once and for all eternity. Don’t let anyone deceive you and tell you otherwise. Believe me, there will be voices and pressures surrounding you every moment of every day trying to get you to believe that your identity in Christ lies in your perfecting your flesh. Don’t for a moment believe that lie. Only Christ can perfect us. Only Christ can produce His life in and through us.

How do you hold on to this wonderful truth? You hold on in the same way you were saved, by faith, by trusting in Christ to do all He promises to do in your life. “Christ in you the hope of glory.” You have been given the ability to see the things above and to focus on them and no longer on the things of this world, including your flesh.

Walk in this world knowing that you are filled with God, with Christ and that is who you are, a new creature in Christ. Christ has removed your flesh.

Categories: flesh, In Christ
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