Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— Eph 2:11
I’ve read over this many times, but today it really hit me. For one thing, the point receives more emphasis in the NASB than it does in some other versions. The Jews looked down on the Gentiles, calling them the Uncircumcised, but they overlooked the fact that circumcision was actually performed by them—the work of their own hands. This distinction, which became a very important dividing line between Jew and Gentile, was something they did for themselves. Circumcision was a vital part of Jewish culture, so important that Paul, when describing his own distinguished credentials in his letter to the Philippians, places circumcision in first place on the list.
If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; Phil 3:4-5
So the thing that Israel took such pride in, this thing that they felt distinguished them from the other nations of the world, was a procedure that they performed themselves, with their own hands.
Do we do the same thing? Do we take some practice that we perform ourselves and elevate it above the things that God does for us?