Paul the apostle in the 2nd chapter of his letter to the Gentile believers at the church of Ephesus writes the following....
"Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands" Ephesians 2:11
The Jews were called "the circumcision".
Paul is calling attention to the fact that the Jews refer to the Gentiles as the "UNcircumcision".
Which in any other scenario would be totally fine because Gentiles were not circumcised like the Jews were. But the irony here is that Paul is trying to let them know that it is actually THEM (the Gentile believers) who are the TRUE circumcision. It's not a matter of the flesh but it is actually a matter of the heart. Circumcision made with hands and done in the flesh is useless. It's circumcision of the heart that matters. A heart changed by God.
Speaking still to Gentile believers, Paul continues...
"that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. BUT NOW in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ."
Paul again refers to these Gentiles as being "without Christ in the past and being ALIENS FROM THE COMMONWEALTH OF ISRAEL."
Now why would that even need to be stated? We all know that Gentiles were NEVER included in the commonwealth of Israel in a physical sense. Only Jews were.
Paul is making sure we get the point that the TRUE Israel of God is a spiritual one and has nothing to do with the flesh. Those Gentile believers who have faith in the Lord are grafted into the remnant of true Israel - the Jews who had faith. God's remnant. That is why Paul uses the emphatic phrase...
"BUT NOW....you (gentile believers) have been brought near by the blood of Christ"
A cross reference from his letter to the church of Colossae is Colossians chapter 3:10-12 where he writes...
"and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where THERE IS NEITHER GREEK NOR JEW, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all."
Thanks to Jesus the remnant of faithful Gentiles was added to the remnant of faithful Jews to make one new people of God.
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