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.”