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October 27, 2021

The Circumcision in Christ Is Versus Asceticism

Col 2:11 In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ, 12 Buried together with Him in baptism, in which also you were raised together with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who raised Him from the dead. 20 If you died with Christ from the elements of the world, why, as living in the world, do you subject yourselves to ordinances: 21 Do not handle, nor taste, nor touch, 23 Such things indeed have a reputation of wisdom in self-imposed worship and lowliness and severe treatment of the body, but are not of any value against the indulgence of the flesh.

Those who have been buried and terminated and who are now resting in the tomb, have no need of asceticism. There is no reason for them to treat their bodies severely. According to the spiritual principle, we have been terminated and have put off the body of the flesh, the very thing that asceticism attempts to deal with. Every form of asceticism attempts to deal with the lusts of the flesh. According to the teaching and practice of asceticism, treating the body severely eliminates lusts and restricts indulgence. This is the basic principle of asceticism. In India some practice asceticism by sitting on a bed of needles. Whenever they become conscious of fleshly lusts, they press against the needles, thinking that the pain they inflict on themselves will restrict their lusts. This same principle explains ascetic rules about eating delicious foods. According to asceticism, to enjoy food is to indulge the flesh. For this reason, ascetics are taught to choose food that is not palatable. ...this severe treatment of the body is "not of any value against the indulgence of the flesh" (2:23). The various practices of asceticism are not effective in restricting the indulgence of the flesh. Paul's concept in Colossians 2 was that since the believers in Christ had been circumcised in the circumcision of Christ, which was accomplished by Christ's death and is applied by the Spirit, and since this is the circumcision in which they have been buried and terminated, there is absolutely no need for the practice of asceticism. To mistreat the body in the attempt to restrict the indulgence of the flesh is foolish and of no avail. Truly the circumcision in Christ is versus asceticism. (c) 2007 Living Stream Ministry.

Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible and Words of Ministry from Witness Lee, Life-study of Colossians, pp. 184-185. Both are published by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA. Please visit us at www.emanna.com. Send comments to: comment@emanna.com.

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