You who call yourselves Jews are relying on God’s law, and you boast about your special relationship with Him. You know what He wants; you know what is right because you have been taught His law. You are convinced that you are a guide for the blind and a light for people who are lost in darkness. You think you can instruct the ignorant and teach children the ways of God. For you are certain that God’s law gives you complete knowledge and truth. Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself?You tell others not to steal, but do you steal? You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery?You condemn idolatry, but do you use items stolen from pagan temples? You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonour God by breaking it. No wonder the Scriptures say, “The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.” The Jewish ceremony of circumcision has value only if you obey God’s law. But if you don’t obey God’s law, you are no better off than an uncircumcised Gentile. And if the Gentiles obey God’s law, won’t God declare them to be His own people? In fact, uncircumcised Gentiles who keep God’s law will condemn you Jews who are circumcised and possess God’s law but don’t obey it. For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the ceremony of circumcision. No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by God’s Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.Romans 2:17-29
Notice the progression of what Paul has written. He has gone from the Gentiles to the Christians to the Jews. I choose to believe that the “YOU’ of Rom 2:1 is referring to the members of the church in Rome. But it works either way Gentiles to Christians to Jews, or Gentiles to Jews. Jews and Gentiles represent all categories as I have already commented in an earlier Gem. This is a very important section for the revelation of how Sinners become Saints.
The other aspect stated clearly is that being a believer is not a matter of law keeping, being circumcised; all these outward things. It is an inner change brought about by the Holy Spirit. When the people of God don’t act like the people of God then God’s name is blasphemed. This is the theme of Scripture as well. I am not going to spell it out for you, go find it for yourself. It is hard to tell which verse exactly Paul is referring to when he says the scriptures say . . . Paul at times loosely uses the Old Testament books when referring to a particular quote. But the concept is there in many places in the Old Testament. The point is that Israel and the Jews have been given a privileged position and the Jews are proud of being called Jews. They claim they have the Word of God and His presence dwells among them setting them apart from all others. So why is it that they act like all the others?
Do you say ‘they’ and do it too? Note the difference between ‘do’ — not what you say or ‘think.’ You can condemn evil (cf. those who approve. 1:32) and yet still be judged.
There Is Only One Mission For The Man Who Loves God’s Word… That Is To “Live It”.Robb Thompson