I had preached through the book of Colossians by focusing on how Paul reorients our thinking with a renewed focus on Christ and God’s Gospel. MP3’s after the jump.
When looking at baptism, covenantal Reformed types who embrace paedobaptism often employ an argument that ties the covenantal sign of Circumcision to the Covenantal sign of Baptism.
The argument goes something like this:
Covenantal Theological Support
- Abraham was circumcised as a sign of his faith-before-circumcision: Romans 4:11
- The Church is the true Israel (Romans 9:6-8), the Israel from above (Gal. 4:26)
- The Church doesn’t replace Israel, it moves it forward (Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25)
- The Church consists then of the true expected sons of Abraham (Rom 4:16; Gal. 3:7, 15-17)
- So the Church gets circumcised (Col. 2:11) in the sign of faith-before-works which is baptism (Colossians 2:11-12 )
Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. (Col 2:16-17 // NASB95)
I’ve seen this passage used quite a number of times to support several conclusions: (1) that the ceremonial portion of the Law were a type that pointed to Christ (the anti-type) and therefore should not be followed anymore—whereas the moral portions should be followed; (2) that the Torah was integral to pointing to Christ so that a person currently has the freedom to keep it (yes, including the ceremonial portions) as long as they do so in respect to Christ; and (3), that all those things that belonged to Israel (law, tabernacle, priesthood) were shadows that now belong to the body of Christ, the Church, to be used by her as she sees fit. Obviously some disagreement on to what should be done with the shadows in Colossians 2—but they are in agreement that the shadows are the things from the past. I deny all three positions.
While studying Colossians, I had noticed the constant interplay of language which allowed someone who reads into the text to apply specific labels to the passages as they see fit. I decided to do that with the following definitions: