Separated from Sin

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

–Galatians 2:20

You may have heard people talk about a “life-saving procedure.” Perhaps you’ve had a surgical procedure that saved your life. However, when it comes to spiritual matters, Paul said nobody is saved by surgery–specifically, by circumcision. The physical act of circumcision has never made a person right with God. Instead, when we trust in Christ as Savior, Colossians 2:11 says, our hearts are spiritually circumcised by Jesus Christ Himself.

What does that mean? The act of physical circumcision foreshadowed what Christ would one day do for us in our spiritual circumcision–removing our sin. The curse of Adam’s sin is passed down through the act of procreation, so the removal of flesh from the sex organ symbolized the removal of sin.

Physical circumcision is a minor surgical procedure, but the spiritual circumcision that Jesus Christ performed on your heart when you became a Christian was a major operation that resulted in death: the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and the death of your old sin nature. I think that’s what Paul had in mind in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

Just as physical circumcision separates skin from the body, spiritual circumcision separates our sin from us. First of all, Jesus’s death separated us from the consequences of sin. Romans 8:1 says, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” When we trust in Christ as our Savior, God no longer holds our sin against us. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done in the past–we never have to fear God’s judgment in the future. We have been separated from the consequences of sin.

Second, we have been separated from the power of sin. Romans 6:6–7 says, “Our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.” When we trust in Christ as our Savior, our old sin nature is nailed to the cross and destroyed forever. That means sin has no more power over our lives than we choose to allow it to have.

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Today’s devotion is adapted from “Radical Surgery” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2012.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

 

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