Summary: Jews are just as guilty as Gentiles
Romans 2:17-29, having shown that outwardly moral people, Jew and Gentile alike-will stand condemned by God’s judgment, Paul turns his argument exclusively to the Jews, God’s covenant people. Neither their heritage (vs.17a), their knowledge (vv.17b-24), nor their ceremonies, specifically circumsion (vv.25-29), will protect them from God’s righteous judgment. The focus of these verses stems upon the reality of faulty understanding of what religion is all about. Religion has its creeds, morals, values and traditions. None of these are what Paul is against, for Paul, living in Christ means being ethical, but it can only come from an all encompassing view of the sovereign work of Holy Spirit indwelling the believer. This already contradicts the modern view by many Christians who think that being good in the end will warrant you eternal life. Being good has nothing to do with being a believer, although demonstrating the inward life on the outside certainly can indicate that you truly do belong to Him. In your heart of hearts, each one knows if he/she is really His own, because His heart beat, beats within them. He speaks to those who are His own in unmistakable terms telling His own how much He loves the wooing them with His passion by calling them back and to Himself.
The kind of religion that Paul is speaking here of is the kind of religion which puffs itself up in religious creeds, ideologies without the reality of the presence of Christ that is shown and revealed through Himself to others. It’s the kind of religion that is dull and shallow, which is the whole point in his address to the Jews. The Hebrews viewed knowledge as experienced, not externally oriented, but during this time the view switched to the view of the Greeks which is external knowledge rather than inward wisdom.
Some have stated that these verses radically re-intrept the Torah. I want to suggest to you today, that they are not re-intrepting the Torah, but rather explaining the real meaning of Torah. Torah was not ever meant to be an external reality lead with legalism, but with the inward parts obeyed because it demonstrated the reality of faith present, the hope promised to the nation of Israel. The reality is that knowledge is always to be applied into our lives, otherwise we become delusional, which leads us to become mere professors of truth rather than living embodiments of the truth. we profess. Often times the intellectual, myself included fall prey to merely intellectualizing the Lord and His Word, and forget that we are to experience the knowledge we teach, letting the Spirit of the Word touch us in profound ways, which lead us to a greater understanding, and insight into our own personal journeys with the Lord. Be encouraged today, He offers you the opportunity even, as a Pastor or Teacher to come to Him daily to be refreshed in the rivers of His everlasting loving arms, because He calls you, His precious child adopted through His blood.
Romans 2:17-20, “ 17Indeed[a] you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, 18and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, 19and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law.”
Jew: Previously called Hebrews and Israelites, by the first century Jew had become the most common name for the descendants of Abraham and Isaac. Jew comes from Judah meaning praise, one of the 12 tribes and the designation for the southern half of Solomon’s kingdom after his death. From the time of the Babylonian captivity, the whole race bore this title. Their great heritage however, (Gen 12:3) became a source of pride and complacency (Jon 4:2; Mich 3:11-12; Matthew 3:7-9; John 8:31-34, 40-59), which led to further judgment instead of praise.”
18and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law: This points to the fact that every Jew was to be instructed and grew up in the synagogue. Yeshua grew up learning the Torah just as every other Jew would. In the same way as this, school children begin kindergarden and progress through high school while some even go further than high school The Jews; however, were instructed out of the Law. Things that are excellent refers to what was morally important. Jews were taught what the Torah said, because that would be the distinguishing factor between for them deciding what was right and what was wrong, culturally, religiously, and ethical.
In the same way as the Jews were instructed in the ways of Torah, so are many on these sites online. Many of us have the mentality, of a person sitting on the curb waiting for the bus. We expect the bus to show up at some point, but sometimes the bus just blows right by us and we miss it all together. Many of us think that we can pull out our eternal life card at the end of the day, call ourselves believers, and think, “All is well and good with my soul today?” The curbside mentality is what is really the problem with our thinking today just as with the Jews who elevated the concept of wisdom and knowledge, from what they knew to be true, to the secular view of knowledge. What we need is not the Greek view of wisdom, but the Biblical understanding of what knowledge is. Knowledge begins with the fear of the Lord, for the Lord’s name is the only name. None of the other god’s have risen from the grave to prove deity, but also none of the other god’s have died on a Cross either. None of the other pagan deities have ascended to heaven, there is only ONE, the Lord Yeshua Hamasriach, that is the Lord Jesus Christ. How are you responding to the call to believe in your heart in what He did, for you to have eternal life today, reader?