For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything,
but faith working through love. (NASB)
“In the economy of grace no account is taken of any ordinance performed on the flesh; the old racial distinction is ignored in the preaching of the Gospel, and faith is the sole condition upon which the favor of God in salvation is to be obtained.” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words.)
“10This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. 11…and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. (Genesis 17:10-11) This was a sign for Abraham and the children of Israel of the covenant God had made with Abraham.
Certain Jewish men confronted the early Church on the point of circumcision. “And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.” (Acts 15:1) After the council met, they came to the conclusion that circumcision was not a prerequisite to salvation. Nor was it a requirement for the Christian.
Paul reiterates that point here. There is no ritual or Old Testament ordinance that the Christian had to keep. Paul made it clear in Romans that the believer was no longer under the law, but they were in Christ Jesus through faith in God’s grace.
Some say we have to keep the Ten Commandments. That’s law. Paul says if you want to keep the law then you have to keep all of the law and we already know that is impossible. We have been freed from all the Old Testament laws. We are called to love one another. Faith works through love. Love is the top of the pyramid. It is the beginning of every good thing God has for us. God so loved that He gave.
I believe Paul was talking about more than circumcision; he was talking about trying to do something to find favor with God. He is talking about trying to do some rule that will make you more spiritual or more special. He said it avails nothing. It has no ability to make you anything. It simply means nothing. All your doing is nothing apart from faith working through love. It is always by grace through faith.