Paul was being persecuted for preaching Grace (V11). Grace is a hard thing people to get when there is a veil over their eyes. (2 Cor 3:14). When the people who are burdened under the law realize that it is because of the veil they are not seeing the light, they could ask God to remove it. He has promised us to reveal the truth by His Spirit(I Cor 2:9-10). It is worth taking that risk of relying only on the Spirit of God to know the truth, to see the light.
Circumcised Paul is preaching against circumcision. That is something to grasp. God chose the most fervent religious fanatic (Saul) to preach to Gentiles. If it was the law what people needed God could have used Paul to preach to Jews. They are the one who needed deep interpretation of the law. But God chose Paul for a different mission - to preach to Gentiles. They didn't need law. They wanted to hear the unconditional love of God. To accomplish this Paul had to 'unlearn' a lot of law and religion and it seems like He did (Phil 3).
There were people offended in the first century when Apostles preached Grace and faith. That norm still continues. There is an easy way in today’s Christianity to become popular – Preach law. Give them those things that they should 'do'. Tell them the list of things they shouldn’t be doing. There are ministries spending resources on developing biblical ‘frame works’ to live a 'successful' Christian life. There is only one framework under New Covenant which is Grace alone. That is the framework which teaches us to say ‘No’ to unrighteousness (Titus 2:11-12). That’s what tells us to rest from our works as He rested from His (Heb 4:10). Do we realize that we are trampling the son of God under our foot and treating the blood of covenant unholy (Heb 10:20) when we don’t finalize the cross and rest in the fact that He did it ALL?
There is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. Instead of taking a step back and look at this amazing grace with an awe and adoration, we spoil it and downgrade it to few lines of Chorus. We sing, sing and sing about grace. And then we give lessons to people about how to worship. Holding hands up, closed eyes, babbling in tongues. In Christ there is no benefit in ‘doing’ this or ‘not doing’ that. The only thing what matters is faith expressing itself through love (V6). Where do we find this love? Where else other than Calvary? There we see the Christ who loved us while we were yet sinners. How much law did we obey when He died on the Cross for the entire world? He did it for ALL. He died for those pagans who worship false gods. He died for prostitutes and tax collectors. He died for those who were weary and burdened under the pressure of society.
Paul calls those who teach ‘works’ as trouble makers (V12). He says they will ‘mutilate’ you, or injure or disfigure you. When we come to Christ He makes us whole and complete. It is His death what gave us forgiveness. It is His resurrection what gave us life. And it is His life He is living in and through us now. It is all about Him! and Him alone! But these trouble makers can only injure us and we will be tossed and blown in the wind of every doctrine (Ephesians 4:14) and eventually we will be disfigured. Stay away from them! Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law (works). (V1). Then, we will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever that they sound like the truth. (Eph 4:14).