One Circumcision–Circumcised by Christ in Christ in Christ’s circumcision–
Tianqi Wu– We are in a dead end Law problem with no other hope except for Christ’s satisfaction of law. There is no other solution apart from Christ’s death being counted as our death, so that it becomes a fact that we legally died when Christ died.
Christ’s death was a legal accomplishment. Christ’s death was Christ’s great work. The imputation of the elect’s sins to Christ and the imputation of Christ’s death to the elect are two different imputations
Romans 6: 6 For we know that our old self was CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST in order that sin’s dominion over the body be abolished, in order that we be no longer be enslaved to sin, 7 since a person who has died is justified from sin’s claims. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him, 9 because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over Him. 10 For in light of the fact that He died, He died to sin once for all time—- 11 So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin
The elect become crucified by Christ when God places them into Christ’s death.
Galatians 2: 19 For through the law I have died to the law, in order that I live for God. I have been CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST 20 and I no longer live, but Christ lives with regard to me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Colossians 2: For IN CHRIST all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and IN CHRIST you have been brought to fullness. Christ is the head over every power and authority. IN CHRIST you were also CIRCUMCISED with a circumcision NOT performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were CIRCUMCISED BY CHRIST, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised Christ from the dead.
The Baptism which saves the Christian is not with water or even with the Holy Spirit. The baptism into Christ’s death is being placed into “the circumcision of Christ”. Christ’s circumcision is not His new birth but His death .
“Christ’s circumcision” is not “by the Spirit” but His death. There are different baptisms, some in water and some in/with the Holy Spirit, but NO “baptism by the Spirit”. But to be circumcised by Christ in Colossians 2 is not baptism with the Spirit but to be legally identified with Christ’s death.
The Colossians 2 identification or “union” (in Christ) of elect sinners is not about the Holy Spirit in us , because “the circumcision of Christ” is His death and God’s “baptism” (Romans 6) places us into Christ’s death. :
Galatians does NOT say that
1. circumcision was both law and gospel
or 2 that circumcision has been fulfilled both as law and promise
so that 3, as gospel, circumcision has been fulfilled by regeneration and mysterious indwelling of the Holy Spirit (not fulfilled by the righteousness of Christ’s death)
so that 4. as law, circumcision with hands has been fulfilled by water baptism with hands.
Neither Galatians nor Colossians teach any of these assumptions.
Mike Horton—”Covenant theology doesn’t teach that the covenant of grace itself is “breakable” (67). God promises his saving grace in Christ to each person in baptism, whether they embrace this promise or not. … The word proclaimed and sealed in the sacraments is valid, regardless of our response, but we don’t enjoy the blessings apart from receiving Christ with all of his benefits. …..To be claimed as part of God’s holy field comes with threats as well as blessings. Covenant members who do not believe are under the covenant curse. How can they fall under the curses of a covenant to which they didn’t belong? ”
Romans 9:7 “For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his children.”
Are these warnings law or gospel? Are they warnings to Ishmael that he many not have ever “really internally” been part of the covenant but only “externally” related to “the covenant”? Is it a possibility that many who enter the covenant are not promised they will be kept in the covenant?
Although the signs have changed, we are still in the same “the covenant” and therefore it’s possible that the law or gospel questions have not changed.
As law, circumcision with hands has been fulfilled by water baptism with hands?
So don’t do circumcision with hands anymore, do water with hands?
Like law, water baptism is done by human hands is not our decision but God’s command and claim on Ishmael and Esau. So paedobaptists know that, even if they don’t know yet if it’s law or gospel? So there’s no need now to find out if God’s oath is about law or gospel? And as long as we live, we can’t ever find out if we are Isaac or Ishmael? Both were heirs of the covenant? Both received the promises of the conditional covenant?
In God’s act of water baptism, as in the preaching of the universal “offer”, God pledges His commitment to us who are “in the covenant”. But is that commitment law or gospel? Is that commitment the same for each and every person “in the covenant”? Even if it turns out that little Esau is never justified, it certainly feels good to think that Esau has been promised the same grace as Abraham has. Of course, if that means of grace turns out to be ineffectual in the face of human failure to meet conditions, then some of us begin to wonder about the nature of the grace promised.
Do we regard our babies as born under the law or do we assure them they are already not under the law? Do we cling to God’s promise to work by His Spirit to keep Esau in “the covenant” in which he was born, or do we have to fall back on some desperate notion of forensic imputation (with resulting conversion) in which every person begins life under condemnation and outside the new covenant? Even though we want to maintain God’s freedom in election (perhaps God will maintain that freedom for Himself), and we do not deny election. we see no need to mention election when we could be emphasizing “the conditional covenant” instead.
Colossians 2 and Romans 6 are parallels. Why does Paul use the “baptized into the DEATH” language in Romans 6 instead of talking about “inward circumcision of the heart” as Paul did in Romans 2? You can say, well Paul in Romans 6 didn’t use the word “imputed”. But Romans 6:7 does say “justified from sin” even though the people who want to read inward regeneration by the Holy Spirit into Romans 6 are so convinced that Paul has “moved on” from justification that they insist that 6:7 should read “freed from sin” and that it JUST HAS TO BE MORE than justification, because THEY JUST KNOW THAT THE POWER OF SIN IS MORE THAN GUILT, and they just know that the answer to “why not sin” CAN’T MERELY BE “NOT UNDER THE LAW”.
As long as you are saying that “possibly” Romans 6 is about being in the Spirit and not about Christ’s death ALONE, as long as you are saying that Romans 6 is also “possibly” about water with hands so that “baptism” in Romans 6 is possibly not about Christ’s death ALONE but also possibly about the new birth which gives faith, then you can say well “possibly” since infants were physically circumcised then “possibly” physical circumcision is the outward part of “saving circumcision” which means that “possibly” water baptism done with hands is the anti-type which fulfills physical circumcision even though the water is not the part that saves…
But none of that “possibly” is a logical inference from what Colossians 2 actually says. Why doesn’t Paul use the inward/outward language of Romans 2 in Colossians 2
Water does not replace physical circumcision in Colossians 2. That’s an assumption read into the text. Many commentaries (Bruce, Dunn, Garland, O’Brien) understand the “circumcision of Christ” as metaphor for Christ’s death by crucifixion. Two different circumcisions doesn’t work in the context of Colossians 2. It’s the same circumcision, both for Christ and for the elect, Christ’s one death. Our death is His death, not some other death done in us. It’s not Christ died and then we died. It’s we died when Christ died (by means of imputation) . Two different deaths don’t work in Romans 6. It’s one death. Being legally placed IN Christ’s death results in regeneration, faith, and justification.
Stephen Walton—Romans 6:7 reads “For one who has died has been set free from sin”. The verb translated “set free” is the perfect passive of dikaioo, which everywhere else in Paul is translated “justify”. Almost all the English translations that I have been able to check translate it as some variation upon “set free” in Romans 6:7 This is because Protestant commentators have traditionally seen a shift from justification in chapters 1-5 to “sanctification” in chapters 6-8; from release from the penalty of sin in 1-5 to release from the power of sin in 6-8.
This translation is misleading. The Vulgate and Tyndale were on the right lines in translating dedikaiotai as “iustificatus est” and “is justified”. The best translation is “has been justified from sin”. This interpretation is powerfully argued by Robert Haldane in his 1839 commentary, and by John Murray and John Stott. It has recently been defended by Peter Jensen….
In his Romans commentary, Thomas Schreiner argued that dedikaiotai “is not merely forensic in verse 7… The use of the verb in this context, however, suggests that righteousness is MORE THAN FORENSIC for Paul”. However, in Paul Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ, Schreiner changed his mind and argued for the interpretation given here.
The evidence against the traditional view (found in Calvin for instance) and for the Haldane-Murray-Stott-Jensen reading is overwhelming. In every other case where Paul uses the verb dikaioo,it is normally translated “justify”, in the sense of “declare righteous”. This creates an extremely strong presumption in favor of translating it to mean “declare righteous” in Romans 6:7. We would need very strong lexical and contextual evidence to translate it otherwise, and such evidence is not forthcoming.
Secondly, a few verses later when Paul wishes to speak of having been set free from slavery to sin, he uses the verb eleutheroo in v18…. Third, the lexical evidence is against “set free” as part of the semantic range of dikaioo. Liddell & Scott do not list it as a possible meaning, and Louw-Nida lists Romans 6:7 as the only place in the New Testament where it has this meaning. BAGD (1957) lists Acts 13:38 as a possible example where dikaioo is followed by apo plus a genitive noun, as in Romans 6:7. However, in this case a forensic reading seems to make equally good sense, if not better.
Therefore, to translate dedikaiotai in Romans 6:7 as “having been set free” is completely arbitrary. The only possible reason for it would be if “having been justified” made no sense in context, and “having been set free” made very good sense. .. However, the forensic interpretation makes very good sense in context, and enables us to see how being freed from the penalty of sin also releases us from the power of sin.
If the traditional interpretation of verse 7 is correct, it simply restates verse 6 in rather confusing and unclear terms However, if the interpretation of verse 7 that I have offered is correct, it gives the grounds of Paul’s statement in verse 6: the believer who has been crucified with Christ has been freed from the power of sin because a person who has died (with Christ) has been justified from sin – that is, freed from its penalty.
This reading is confirmed by 2 Corinthians 5:14-21. Here Paul speaks in substitutionary terms of Christ dying on behalf of the all (huper panton, verse 15), and of reconciliation between God and believers being effected by the “great exchange” that took place on the cross, resulting in righteousness for Christians (v 21). In verse 14 he writes that “one has died for all, therefore all have died”. The result of Christ’s act of dying as a substitute for all believers is that the beneficiaries of his death are considered to have died. Here dying with Christ is surely seen in forensic terms… The assurance of salvation that comes from Christ’s death and the free gift of justification, far from encouraging complacency, encourages the believer to live a life that is not selfish, but centered on someone else: God. On this basis, Paul can exhort his readers to live as people who have been freed from sin (Romans 6:18-23).