“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.” Acts 22.3 NIV “”circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee;” Philippians 3.5 NIV
The Epistles represent not only spiritual advice to the churches but Paul’s own struggle to understand his own Faith, as a Christian, against the backdrop of all he has been and knows. How the Torah and Judaism relate to Christianity. Not the Torah of Psalm 19 but that of the Scribes and Pharisees who had polluted the Torah of Reconciliation and its Sacrificial requirements. Who had laid burdens on the backs of the people, too heavy to bear, without helping to lift them.
The Law of the Lord is Perfect...Psalm 19.7 NIV And Jesus said to the Pharisees and the Teacers of the Law’ … truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.’ Matthew 5.18
There was only one Covenant, that between God and his chosen, now there were others who must be added to that Covenant, but how? The Judaizers had arrived who believed that the manner by which Christians entered that Covenant must be via Circumcision. Paul struggled with this because he had come to believe that believers in Christ entered the covenant by Faith alone.
Back in Acts Paul had conceded because of the Jews to circumcise Timothy-because 3 (he) wanted Timothy to accompany him, (so) he took him and circumcised him ….., for they all knew that his father was a Greek. Acts 16.3 Now he had come to the mind that this was unnecessary. The requirements of Sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins was abolished by the Crucifiction of Christ, there was nolonger any need for the Torah of sin and death. Now he regrets that decision and amid the arguments for and against he repents of bringing Timothy into the Covenant via the Torah of sin and death. Paul had entered the Mind of Christ and understood the Greatest Commandment.
Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”Matthew 22.37 The Berean Bible (www.Berean.Bible) Berean Study Bible (BSB) © 2016, 2018, 2019 by Bible Hub and Berean.Bible. Used by Permission. All rights Reserved. Free downloads and licensing available. See also the Berean Literal Bible and Berean Interlinear Bible.
Paul had entered the Torah of the Spirit of Love and Grace. .All who came to Christ must enter the Covenant in the same manner, via the Circumcision of the Heart not the flesh.
The idea of “circumcision of the heart” is found in Romans 2:29. It refers to having a pure heart, separated unto God. Paul writes, “A Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter.” These words conclude a sometimes confusing passage of Scripture regarding circumcision and the Christian. Verses 25-29 provide context:biblia.com ESV