To answer that good question, let’s read 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; That at that time ye 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: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”

This letter to the Ephesians was written by the Apostle Paul as we see from Ephesians 1:1, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus.” Ephesus was not part of Israel. It was a city in Asia-Minor in what is now known as Turkey. As the terms are used in the Bible, anyone who is not a Jew, is a Gentile. The Ephesians were Gentiles.

As a whole, the Jews had no use for the Gentiles, and referring to them as the ‘Uncircumcision’ was certainly not a compliment. David, before going out to face Goliath said in 1 Samuel 17:26, “What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for WHO IS THIS UNCIRCUMCISED PHILISTINE, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” When the Jews learned that the Apostle Peter had visited an Italian man named Cornelius to share the Gospel with him (Acts 10), we read their reaction in Acts 11:2-3, “And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, Saying, THOU WENTEST IN TO MEN UNCIRCUMCISED, AND DIDST EAT WITH THEM.”

So, in Ephesians 2:11, Paul is reminding these Gentile Christians that there was a time they were known as Gentiles and Uncircumcised. They had no claim to the Lord. They were “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise.” When Christ came into the world, He came to save His people (the Jews) from their sins. (Matthew 1:21). There is a familiar incident found in Matthew 15:22-24 which says, “And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I AM NOT SENT BUT UNTO THE LOST SHEEP OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL.” This woman of Canaan was not a Jew, but a Gentile. When she appealed to the Lord Jesus for mercy on the basis of His heritage (thou Son of David), the Lord refused to hear her. They did not share that heritage. This woman was not ‘OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL’. She had no right to appeal to the Lord on the basis of being one of the ones He came to save. BUT, when she appealed to Him as an undeserving dog, the Lord was merciful to her. Matthew 15:28 says, “Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, GREAT IS THY FAITH: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.” The Lord has always responded to faith!

This was the condition of the believers in Ephesus before they were saved. Indeed, they were “having no hope, and without God in the world.” After pointing out what the Ephesian believers USED to be, the Apostle reminds them of what they were NOW. “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” Today, all who put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are also ‘in Christ Jesus’ and are ‘made nigh by the blood of Christ.’ Today, as concerning salvation and relationship with the Lord, there is no Jew or Gentile. We read in Romans 10:12, “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek (Gentile): for the same Lord over all IS RICH UNTO ALL THAT CALL UPON HIM.” (260.8)