But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.
When it was time to honor and bless Abraham, Hashem made a covenant with him. This covenant took the form of a legal contract of partnership (Genesis 15) where God and Abraham became venture partners each one with responsibilities towards each other. The culture of the day required that contracts between parties be ‘signed’ through some sort of blood producing cut in the flesh that would then become an outward sign of this new relationship. The idea was is that since this new contract made you a new person with new assets, liabilities, strengths, weaknesses, and responsibilities, that societal change needed to be visible and therefore applied to your flesh. You needed to actually become a new person by altering your body in some way. The cutting alteration required by God of Abraham was that of circumcision. The terms of the contract Hashem makes with us is His Word, that’s why the Hebrew word for circumcision is: brit-milah: the Covenant of the Word.
According the Hebrew Scriptures, it wasn’t enough to be circumcised in the body. We needed also to be circumcised of the heart with new desires and appetites (Deuteronomy 10:16); our ears also with a new pure sense of hearing, a hearing provoking obedience. When gentiles joined the local synagogues in first century Asia Minor, Paul made sure that people did not solely focus on the physical part of their new lives, but rather that their heart was right as he said, For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation (Galatians 6:15). Paul was teaching them in essence that whereas the works were good, they were not enough to justify a change of heart; that it would be better that the works be motivated by the change of heart.
Today we have the opposite problem. People feel that they can have a change of heart without involving any change of behavior. We expect God to of course do His part of protecting, supplying, loving and mostly of forgiving, while we seem to not want to take upon ourselves any term of the contract that would cramp our lifestyle.
Anyone who comes to Yeshua becomes a new creature. Paul, a perfect rabbi was also a perfect disciple who wanted so much to be like his Master. He made sure to receive in his body the marks of the cost of true discipleship to the Master. He did not try to shirk away from them. Can people see the marks of your covenant with Him in your flesh? Is your life a living testimony of a life change that reflects that you belong to God? Do you carry the marks, the cuts of Yeshua not only in your heart but also in your body?