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 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.
At first glance, these passages may seem a bit confusing, however, with some historical context they become understandable and meaningful to us and our faith. When God made His covenant with Abraham, He required that all the males be circumcised. And thus circumcision became a sign of the Abrahamic covenant, or in other words the sign that distinguished the Jewish people from the Gentiles. As a result the Jewish people often referred to themselves as the “Circumcised,” and they in a derogatory sense, referred to Gentiles as the “Uncircumcised.” Therefore, in the Bible, we often see that those who followed and trusted in the Lord, God referred to them as the “circumcised in heart,” which was a reference to their faith and love for God. In addition, we have to understand that the Gentile people groups were separated from God in five different ways. First, before Jesus’ death on the Cross of Calvary, only the Jewish people could become right with God, Gentiles outside of Judaism could not have a relationship with the true and living God of Heaven. Second, the Gentiles had no promise of a Messiah as the Jewish people had in the Torah. It was the Old Testament scriptures, which foretold of the coming of God’s Messiah, who is Jesus Christ our Lord. Third, Gentiles were aliens to the commonwealth of Israel, meaning they were not part of God’s chosen people. God had set Israel apart to carry our a unique destiny on the earth.
A destiny, which under the sovereign control of God, led to the coming of the Messiah. Fourth, Gentiles were strangers to God and His covenants, which God made only with the Jewish people, through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. These included the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants. Lastly, though the pagan Gentiles had many false gods, they were without the true and living God of Heaven. What Paul is doing here is he is reminding us that we are all one in Christ. Jews and Gentiles become one people, one family under Christ Jesus our Lord. Through faith every nation, tribe and tongue are one in Christ. Through faith we are all adopted into the family of God and become joint-heirs in the kingdom of God. Why is that? Because we are grafted into the family of God, through faith. Through the spirit, we become children of Abraham. Gentiles through the blood of Jesus, shed for us at the Cross of Calvary, become children of God grafted into the spiritual nation of Israel, we become part of the “faithful remnant.” Through our faith in Jesus, their history becomes our history, which is why we have both the Old and New Testament’s in our Bible. Because together the Old and New Testament make up the historical story of God’s plan of redemption for mankind, along with His interactions with humanity to bring about the culmination of His plan of redemption. And the culmination of God’s plan of redemption is to bring all of creation under the lordship of Jesus Christ to the glory of God the Father. And it’s this story, which is now our story because of what Jesus did for us. This has been given freely to us, because of our faith in Christ Jesus our Lord.