Tuesday, October 30, 2012

That He Might Fill All Things

Continuing our discussion in Ephesians 4  (Transfer of Paradise 10/25/2012) regarding the Lord Jesus Christ’s descent and ascension …..

Ephesians 4:9-10
(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

This has to do with the issue of the cross-work of the Lord Jesus Christ.  He left the heavenly places where he was Head; he came down to the earth and died on the cross and went down into Paradise.  This all illustrates his humbleness.

Philippians 2:8
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

He died, was buried and rose again.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

He left heaven’s glory for our sakes. This is where Christ started; but he didn’t stay in the heavenly places.

Philippians 2:7
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

2 Corinthians 8:9
For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

He is the Lord of glory but the princes of this world would not have crucified him had they known who he was.

1 Corinthians 2:8
Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

He came as a man to die. When he was buried, his soul descended to the lower parts of the earth. He went to the lowest of the low.

Hebrews 10:5
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself [that is the issue], and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth [the lower parts of the earth, even lower than we are];

That is the point of Paul’s mentioning that the Lord descended into the lower parts of the earth.

This is his ascension…

Ephesians 4:10
He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

This is not the same event as when he ascended with the Old Testament saints into Paradise; that already happened.  This is talking about his position as Head of the heavenly places.  There is structure in the heavens.

Philippians 2:9
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Ephesians 1:20-23
Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

Again, this is that ascension; it is a positional thing.  Paul explains what he means by ascending up far above all heavens.

Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:  And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

That is why Paul says in Ephesians 4:10 that Christ ascended far above the heavens to fulfill all things.  That is what Christ accomplished through his death, burial, resurrection and ascension.  He was to be the Head over all things to the church.  We receive an inheritance because of his death. We will rule in the heavenly places with him and in his stead because his actual glorified body will be here on the earth in the New Jerusalem.

Colossians 3:24
Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

He will use the church, his body, to rule in the heavenly places; we are his body.

Ephesians 5:30
For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

1 Corinthians 12:12
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

He will use us to fill all things in the heavenly places while he is physically down here on the earth.
+ + + +

In an answer to a previous question I dealt with the meaning of Ephesians 4:8 (which precedes today’s passage) that speaks of Christ leading captivity captive.

Ephesians 4:8
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

More light is shed on this verse in Ephesians’ sister epistle:

Colossians 2:15
And having spoiled principalities and powers [Satan and his angels who held the heavenly places], he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

What are those gifts he gave to men?

Ephesians 4:11-12
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

All that was happening as the Lord Jesus was building the church the body of Christ back in Paul’s day.

1 Corinthians 12:18
But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

 Hopefully this helps...Maranatha!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Transfer of Paradise

I see the following passage as saying that Christ ascended with paradise and the Old Testament saints.  When do you think that Christ transferred paradise from the heart of the earth where it was in his day, to the third heaven where it is now according to 2 Corinthians 12:2, 4?

Ephesians 4:8-10
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

I see that happening before Paul was saved – before he was given the doctrine contained in the book of Ephesians which is part of the revelation of the mystery of Christ given to the Apostle Paul.

Romans 16:25
Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

Paul calls it the dispensation of the grace of God.

Ephesians 3:2
If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

The doctrine in Ephesians wasn’t made known until years into the Apostle Paul’s ministry.  The body of Christ was a mystery.

Ephesians 3:5-7
Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

Paul was the first member of the body of Christ.

1 Timothy 1:15-16
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.  Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

The doctrine of Ephesians came approximately 30 years after Paul’s salvation.  Paul’s 13 books are broken up into three groups. The books of Galatians, I and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Corinthians and Romans, are called the ‘acts’ epistles of his early ministry.  There are three ‘prison’ epistles: Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians.  Those complete the revelation of the mystery.  Lastly we have the “pastoral” epistles of 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon.

By the time Paul wrote the book of Ephesians, Christ had already ascended with paradise.  So what is happening in Ephesians 4?

Ephesians 4:8
Wherefore he saith [Paul is quoting Ps. 68:18], When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

That corresponds with what Paul says in Colossians about the heavenly places.

Colossians 2:15
And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it [the cross].

Most people think that ‘he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men’ has to do with his ascending with paradise, but that is not what Paul is talking about.  He is not referring to the time when the Lord took the Old Testament saints up to the third heaven.  Paul’s message is the mystery of Christ, the body of Christ and the dispensation of grace.

Ephesians and Colossians are sister epistles.  If you want light on Ephesians you go to Colossians and vice versa.    Ephesians focuses on the church the body of Christ and our calling for the heavenly places.

Colossians 1:24
Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:

Ephesians 2:6
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Colossians focuses on Christ as the head of the body and his ministry in the heavenly places through us.

Colossians 1:18
And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Why did Paul quote Ps. 68:18?  Because that is a messianic psalm about the victory that the Lord Jesus Christ has over his enemies in the earth in the Prophetic program.  Those who have Israel in lawful captivity (the Antichrist, Satan and his cohorts) will be defeated and destroyed.  God will spoil them: take from them and give to Israel.  That will happen in the earth when Christ returns to fulfill prophecy, destroy the enemies of Israel and establish his earthly kingdom and give it to his people Israel and the Old Testament saints. 

2 Peter 1:11
For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you [Kingdom saints] abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The same is true for the heavenly places.  The body of Christ will take them over.

Ephesians 2:6
And hath raised us up together, and made us [the body of Christ] sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

A majority of the heavenly places is now being usurped by Satan and his angels.

Ephesians 6:12
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

We battle against Satan and his angels.  That is what he is talking about in Ephesians 4:8 when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive.  That is not about taking the Old Testament saints with him to paradise.  Paul is not dealing with that event which already happened in prophecy sometime between the time that Christ descended into paradise and the time that Paul was caught up into the third heaven.  Colossians gives some light on this.

Colossians 2:15
And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them [Satan and his unholy angels] openly, triumphing over them in it.

This is what he is talking about when he led captivity captive.  In the Old Testament when a king would conquer his enemy, he would parade the enemy leader and his people through the streets and make a show of them openly to humiliate them.  Spiritually speaking, that is what the Lord Jesus Christ did to Satan and his angels through the cross.

1 Corinthians 2:7-8
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:  Which none of the princes of this world knew:

He is not just talking about human princes, but also Satan and his angels (John 12:31).

for had they known it [the mystery of how God would reconcile the heavens back unto himself through a new agency called the church the body of Christ], they would not have crucified the Lord of glory [Christ].

But through the cross he spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.  He spoiled them.  That is why he said in Colossians:

Colossians 2:8
Beware lest any man spoil you [believers] through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Don’t let someone come to you with anything as the power of Almighty God but the “preaching of the cross.”  It is the message of grace given to the Apostle Paul.

1 Corinthians 1:18
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Galatians 6:14
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

I want you to understand that there is a difference between the time that Christ ascended with paradise and the actual time that he took captivity captive.  The one who held Israel in lawful captivity was Satan.

Isaiah 49:24
Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive [Israel] delivered?

Israel was under the penalty of the law and Satan had them in captivity.  He spoiled them.  Satan wants to be like the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth.

Genesis 14:19
And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:

Isaiah 14:14
I [Lucifer/Satan] will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

Therefore Christ spoiled Satan and his angels in the heavenly places through the cross.  The theme and context of the book of Ephesians is the heavenly places, not the earth.

So he led captivity captive in Ephesians 4:8 is the same thing as spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it in Colossians 2:15.
Hopefully this helps!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

We are the Circumcision, Pt. 4


What makes us the circumcision?  We worship God in the spirit; it is a capacity of the inner man.  There is nothing we can do in the flesh; it’s all about him.

Colossians 2:13
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

We gentiles were not only dead in our sins (meaning, our sins separated us from Almighty God), but we didn’t even have the right relationship with God to begin with.  We were dead in the uncircumcision of our flesh.  Even unbelieving Jews were nigh unto God; they were his people.  Isn’t that interesting?

      Colossians 2:11
In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

Notice who performs this circumcision – our great physician, the Lord Jesus Christ.  This is not a physical circumcision, but a spiritual circumcision made without hands.  He performs it through the Holy Spirit.  It has to do with putting off the body of the sins of the flesh.  Christ has circumcised our physical flesh from our inner man.  That is why we are dead to sin and we don’t have to serve the flesh.

Romans 6:2
God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Although we still have these bodies of flesh and there is sin in our mortal flesh we don’t have to serve it (Romans 7).  Although we will never be sinless until we get our new bodies, we ought to sin less because it no longer has the same power over us.  Paul explained that to the Jews in the book of Romans.  He had to explain to them what true circumcision was.  He explains how circumcision only avails them if they keep the Law.  But they couldn’t keep the Law!  Even if an uncircumcised gentile kept the Law, wouldn’t he condemn the Jew who has the letter of the Law and circumcision?

Romans 2:28-29
For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly;

The issue is not the outward cutting of the flesh.

 neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

You think you are a Jew?

Romans 2:17
Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,

Here is what a true Jew is:

But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

What did Stephen say to those Jews who had the physical circumcision?

Acts 7:51
Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

They were not just stiff-necked (rebellious) like a donkey, but they didn’t even ‘hear’ God’s word. 

Their hearts were far from God’s word.

Matthew 15:8
This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

When Moses gives Israel the Law for the second time before Joshua takes them into the Promised Land, he tells them what God would have them do.

Deuteronomy 10:16
Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.

God just wanted them to circumcise their hearts and believe him.  Stephen indicts the nation 1,500 years later because they are still ‘stiffnecked and uncircumcised’ in heart and ears. At that condemnation, Stephen made the religious Jews so mad that they stoned him and Saul was right there leading the rebellion.  But God saved Saul by grace and the dispensation of grace began.

Romans 2:29
But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter [of the physical Law]; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

The problem is that all the outward, physical rituals and rites are to please man, not God.  Man looks at the outside, but God looks in the heart.

1 Samuel 9:19
And Samuel answered Saul, and said, I am the seer: go up before me unto the high place; for ye shall eat with me to day, and tomorrow I will let thee go, and will tell thee all that is in thine heart.

Most of the time that Paul talks about circumcision it is in reference to Israel.  The context will determine whether it is a physical or spiritual circumcision.  We are circumcised without hands and baptized by one Spirit into one body.  The Lord Jesus Christ circumcises believers when they trust him.

Romans 15:12
And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.

Hopefully this helps!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

We are the Circumcision, Pt. 3


So notice the circumcision in the flesh made by hands for Israel that is the one that Paul talks about.  Remember that when defining circumcision, the context will define it for us.  Sometimes our Apostle Paul mentions physical circumcision in reference to Israel; but there are other times when Paul mentions circumcision in reference to the church the body of Christ.  One is physical; the other is spiritual.

Romans 15:8-9
Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:  And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.

In this context, the circumcision who Jesus Christ ministered to was the nation of Israel. Notice that in the next verse Paul mentions the gentiles; he separates Jews and gentiles in that passage.

Matthew 15:24
But he [Jesus] answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

The Lord Jesus didn’t come for the gentiles during his earthly ministry; at that time he was a minister of the circumcision.  But now through Paul he is ministering to the gentiles (and individual believing Jews).

Romans 15:15-16
Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

Notice in Galatians Paul says there are two gospels: one for the uncircumcision and one for the circumcision.

Galatians 2:7
But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision [gentiles] was committed unto me [Paul, the apostle to the gentiles], as the gospel of the circumcision [believing remnant of Israel] was unto Peter [the head apostle to Israel, Matt. 16:17, Acts 1];

Galatians 2:9
And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision [believing Israel].

The Jew is the issue in the context of this passage.

We know that there were both Jews and gentiles saved into the body of Christ.  Paul was a Jew who was circumcised the eighth day according to the Law.  Something changed when the dispensation of grace began in Acts 9 with the salvation of Paul.

Galatians 5:6
For in Jesus Christ [in the body of Christ] neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

In Christ it doesn’t matter whether you are a circumcised Jew or an uncircumcised gentile.

Galatians 6:15
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

All that matters is the one new man, the new creature in the body of Christ.

Ephesians 2:15
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

Just like water baptism was a physical ordinance given to the nation of Israel identifying them as believers in Christ (John’s Baptism, Mark 1:8), we have a spiritual baptism.

1 Corinthians 1:17
For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

Water baptism was not a part of Paul’s gospel of grace; but it was a part of the Kingdom gospel preached by John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter, James and John.

1 Corinthians 12:13
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Our baptism today is a spiritual one.  The same principle applies to circumcision.  What God required Israel to do physically, we now receive spiritually.  We are to be baptized and there is only one baptism.

Ephesians 4:5
One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

But that one baptism is not physical, for by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body –it is a Spirit baptism! We are placed into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit and we are identified with his death, burial and resurrection.

God had Israel baptize and circumcise physically as a type and shadow of what he is doing now spiritually.  In time past Israel physically cut off the flesh; but now God himself circumcises believers spiritually.

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.

To be continued…

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

We are the Circumcision, Pt. 2


What does it mean to worship ‘in the spirit?’

This is not the Holy Spirit, it is in our spirit.  This is how we worship God.

Romans 1:9
For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;

We are members of his body; Christ is our head.  Our worship of him originates in our spirit; it is the reason we have a spirit.

1 Thessalonians 5:23
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:12

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

God gave us a spirit to know him.  Unfortunately, the same spirit that we received from Almighty God cannot only communicate with other human spirits through words, but it can communicate with other spirits such as fallen devils (Satan and his angels).

God gave us a spirit to know not only each other, but more importantly, to know him.

John 4:22-24
Ye [Samaritans] worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

As John looks into the future he writes that one day that will be the issue.  God is looking for your heart.  After the Millennial Kingdom the nation Israel and even the gentiles will worship God from a willing heart.  There will be no more sin.  God will be the issue in their hearts; but we have that already.  We have the fruit of the pure grace of the New Testament.

2 Corinthians 3:6
Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

Because of pure grace we benefit from the covenant that God gave to the nation of Israel which was ultimately ratified with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross.  We receive the spiritual benefit of that – eternal life.  We have it now; Israel will get it in the Kingdom.

and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Notice that our rejoicing is not in ourselves and we have no confidence in the flesh.  We know that has to do with religion because if you continue to read you see that Paul goes into his religious pedigree as Saul of Tarsus.

Philippians 3:4-8
Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I moreCircumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;  Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.  But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

Paul has all those credentials, but he counts them as nothing.  See what religion profits you?  Nothing! 

Paul has a lot to say about circumcision.  For those of you who are not familiar with the ritual, God gave Abram/Abraham the Hebrew a covenant of circumcision when he called him out in the book of Genesis.

Genesis 17:10
This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.

Acts 7:8
And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs.

It was a cutting off of the foreskin of his flesh.  God was showing Abraham that he was cutting off what he could do, works that he could produce.  It was done on the male member where his seed flows out.  God was saying, ‘No, I don’t want what you can produce.  You can produce a child, but it will be Ishmael, and not even with your own wife who is barren’ 

Genesis 16:15
And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael.

I will produce for you the son I promised by your wife Sarah whose womb is dead.  I will restore life to you both in your reproductive capacities.  I will give you a son, Isaac.

Romans 4:19-20
 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb:  He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

From Isaac came Jacob, and from Jacob/Israel came the nation of Israel which was born by a miracle of Almighty God in a number of ways; first through Isaac and later when Israel was born as a nation out of Egypt.

Exodus 4:22
And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:
So the physical circumcision of cutting off the flesh was a type and shadow of a spiritual circumcision that Israel would receive in the Kingdom through the new covenant.

Deuteronomy 30:6
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.

We receive this spiritual circumcision by pure grace.  God never made a covenant with gentiles.

Ephesians 2:11-13
Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

We gentiles were called the uncircumcision by those who were called the circumcision (Israel).

That at that time ye were without Christ [during his earthly ministry we were without him], being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise [the covenants God made with Israel], having no hope, and without God in the world:

We had no hope of resurrecting into God’s Kingdom.  We were lost and far off; but that all changed in Christ.

But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

To be continued…