But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. Galatians 6:14-15 (ESV)
At times, it is tempting to place our trust and hope in the things we do for Jesus. Perhaps we live a life of surrender, monetary or otherwise, because of His sacrificial life and death. Or maybe we make prayer, Bible study, and church involvement our main priorities because we believe that is what we must do to honor God. Don't mistake this: no good work that is a response to Jesus is inherently empty. However, our works are nothing if we do not recognize that any good we accomplish in this life is impossible without Christ's regenerative work in us.
Paul spoke to the Galatians of circumcision because, at the time, it was considered an outward sign of inward transformation; a means of judging another person's devotion to God. Though circumcision was not itself good or evil, Paul knew only too well of the human tendency to boast about one's own righteousness. He made it clear that nothing, save Jesus' costly death and victory over our sins, can put us in right standing before God. This is the essence of the gospel!