Since God … will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.
Hashem told Abraham to circumcise his boys: Isaac and Ishmael. Isaac was circumcised at eight days, and Ishmael at thirteen years old. Later Hashem instituted that all the Children of Jacob should be circumcised at eight days; the children of Ishmael who united with the Children of Esau to make the Arab nations still circumcise their children at thirteen years old.
Circumcision is an outward sign of an inward reality. It serves as a branding in the flesh so people know we have a Master, that we belong to a family of people who has been redeemed that we belong to a Redeemer. Whereas this 'branding' is applied to our 'secret parts' allowing us to blend, it also reminds us that we are not our own: that we are responsible to the Law of our Master and not to do these things which are done in 'secret'! Moses spoke of a second circumcision, this time of the heart (also Jeremiah 4:4). It isn't to replace the circumcision of the flesh but rather worked as an addendum. The heart is the seat of the will. A person with a circumcised heart is one whose 'flesh' has been removed from his will; carnality does not dictate this person anymore. Isaiah also spoke of the circumcision of the ear (
As Paul wrote of circumcision, he did not need to write to the Jewish believers who already had instructions in the matter. He referred mostly to this promised circumcision of the heart to give us a 'heart to know' (Deuteronomy 29:4; 30:6). Physical circumcision was only given to the children of Abraham and particularly imposed on the Children of Israel. Given the fact that when Abraham was still uncircumcised he was made the 'blessor' of all the families of the earth, Paul then spoke to the uncircumcised Colossians (Gentile believers) of the circumcision of the heart (Romans 4:10-11; Colossians 2:11) whereby they would be 'grafted-in' to Israel (Romans 11) though Messiah..
As circumcision in the flesh changes our body showing that we have a Master and rules to abide by, so should the circumcision of the heart. One who claims to belong to Messiah should show the signs of being a different person, one not subject to his evil inclination but subject to the spirit of God.
Hashem has promised that in the time of the end, when He gathers his chosen people from the four corners of the earth he will circumcise their hearts. There is no 'if' in there: this promise is unconditional (Deuteronomy 30: 5-6). One may wonder, "How can it be unconditional?" For millennia before the world ever knew about God and the Messiah the Chosen People have carried the persecution of being chosen and separated. We cherished and preserved the Word that the world today enjoys through the effort of the early Jewish disciples of the Jewish Messiah. I told a young woman who told me that her parents were Jewish but that it meant nothing to her, that to be Jewish is like being the inheritor of a vast wealth of future blessings, and that we should not like Esau throw away our glorious inheritance because of discomfort in this present reality.
May we all, biological Jews and 'grafted-in' Gentiles, remember that this appurtenance to our Messiah means an unconditional Promise in the World to come. As the early Jewish martyrs starting with Moses who considered the riches of Messiah greater than Egypt (Hebrews 11:24-26), may we never let go of that hope. This is the very hope, 'Hatikvah' that kept the Children of Israel for 2,000 years, and it will keep us until that Day comes.
May it be soon Abba, even in our days!