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Romans part 5

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Romans 2:17-29.

In today’s text, Paul directs his attention directly to the Jews, let’s jump straight in
chapter 2, vs 17

Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God; 18 if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; 19 if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth—21 you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?

Jews often felt that they knew God’s will
They were well instructed from the law and often considered themselves a guide for others
Seasoned believers often feel the same way
we have known God for a period of time
we have been in church and Bible studies
So we think we have God’s path in mind
however, we need to make sure our path is directly in line with God’s before we preach and teach to others, or we become self-righteous and hypocritical.
vs. 23

You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

Paul, as usual, is very direct here
Many boasted in the law, yet external religion without internal change and commitment, has no value to God
His intention has never been for His people to simply memorize His words and directives
Paul goes on to share that what happens with these that claim but don’t truly follow is their bad witness to the world that dishonors God.
vs. 25

Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. 26 So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? 27 The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.

28 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.

Paul talks about circumcision in the literal sense and as an illustration
The Jewish external circumcision was supposed to be matched by a circumcision of the heart by the Spirit
To be outwardly circumcised yet not have an internal transformation, was worthless
on the flip side, to have an internal transformation without the outward circumcision was still righteous and God honouring.
The truth for us to know is that external religion can never replace an authentic relationship with God
The best quote I’ve read on this is
“when religion trumps relationship, God is not present.”
it is not and has never been about religion
it is about God and honoring God with everything we do!
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