By Robert Wurtz II
Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
This is Abrahamic faith in a nutshell. We as born again believers are of the true circumcision because we walk in the steps of faithful Abraham which he walked- being yet uncircumcised (Romans 4:9-11). According to Philippians 3:3 this intails worshiping God in the Spirit (which presupposes walking in the Spirit), rejoicing in the finished work of Christ (the promised seed), and having no faith in the flesh (GK. sarx; sin nature or fallen human nature). The Greek word for 'confidence' is pietho and it is translated in the KJV as agree, assure, believe, have confidence, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, and yield.
Because Abraham trusted or had confidence (peitho) in God and not the 'flesh' He was called the friend of God (James 2:23). This is how righteousness is imputed to us. It requires that we transfer our confidence and friendship from the flesh (GK. Sarx. Sin Nature) and unto God. When we shift our confidence from the flesh to the promised seed (Jesus Christ; Galatians 3:16) through genuine repentance we become an heir to the righteousness of God which is by faith (Hebrews 11:7).
The 'Seed' was first spoken of to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden during the pronouncement of judgment upon them (Genesis 3:15; the one seed who shall bruise the head of the serpent; protevangel; see also Romans 16:20). The Promised Seed is the object of our 'Abraham like faith'- to the exclusion of the 'flesh' (GK sarx; sinful human nature). Paul refused to TRUST in the 'flesh' even when he was able to uphold the law blamelessly (Philippians 3:6). Why? Because... no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them (Galatians 3:12-13).
Obeying the ordinances of the law in our own human power is to again TRUST in the "arm of the flesh.' So we see then that Abraham was given the sign of circumcision as a sign that he had put off trusting in his fallen human nature and had placed his confidence in God and His Christ (Compare Galatians 3:16 and Romans 16:20). This is known as CIRCUMCISION OF THE HEART (Deuteronomy 10:16; Jeremiah 4:4).
Circumcision of the heart must be done or we will not love God. As it is written... And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live (Deuteronomy 30:6). Why? Because the flesh is governed by the LAW OF SIN- which is simply a state in which, because of original sin, it REBELS against anything and everything that God says to do or not to do. It is a knee jerk reaction of the sin nature to rebel against God. It is the very nature of Satan himself.
How could anyone possibly love God and be governed by a 'law' (law of sin) that is hostile to and hates God? The law of Moses was added because of transgressions in order to EXPOSE the sin nature in everyone and in turn point them to Christ when they see the utter impossibility of loving and serving God in the 'flesh.' However, in spite of that, many pridefully made the laws appear to be kept- while Christ continually pointed to the people's sins in their hearts. This the religious people did not like or tolerate very well.
To remain uncircumcised of the TRUST in the sinful human nature (the ‘flesh') is to always be resisting to Holy Ghost (Acts 7:51). To have uncircumcised ears is to HEARKEN to the sin nature instead of God (Jeremiah 6:10). Therefore they that are in the 'flesh' cannot please God (Romans 8:8). Why? Because to live after the flesh is to TRUST and OBEY the flesh and the result is death (Romans 8:13). There are 2 sides to the "flesh": LICENSE and LEGALISM. Both are characteristics of the sin nature as both are birthed out of pride. License seeks to rebel against all God has commanded and legalism seeks to show God that man can be just as holy as God apart from God.
God gave Abraham the outward sign of Circumcision as a token of the inward work that had taken place when his heart was circumcised of the friendship and trust (Greek peitho) in the fallen human nature and was transferred to God (Romans 4:10). Circumcision was given to Abraham after he was already circumcised in heart so that others would see the identification mark that He was a man that trusted the Lord and had no confidence in the flesh.
The reason why Gentiles don't have to be circumcised is because it is an outward token of an inward work of grace performed by God (Deuteronomy 30:6). The 'sign' or 'token' does nothing for the heart. Many had the outward symbol as did the people who stoned Stephen, but they were uncircumcised in heart AND ears (Acts 7:51).