“In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.” Col. 2:11
Here, without hands. Paul, writing to the Gentile Christians at Colosse, would certainly not here be referring to literal circumcision, which he rejected as a ritual requirement for Gentiles (e.g., Gal. 5:2, 6). The “circumcision made without hands” refers to the spiritual significance of circumcision, which applies to Gentiles as well as Jews. The covenant that God had made with Abraham (Gen. 17:9-14) was to be signified by the physical rite of circumcision (cutting round). It was a national and earthly covenant, applicable only to the chosen nation fathered by Abraham, and did not of itself assure personal salvation in heaven to those who submitted to it. However, it should have encouraged in them and symbolized to them a spiritual separation also, dedicating themselves to serve the Lord and to do His will. Similarly, God’s people in any nation and any age should so dedicate themselves, cutting themselves off from the natural sins of the flesh. In that sense, every true believer has submitted to spiritual circumcision.