Summary: A study of the book of Romans chapter 2 verses 17 through 29
Romans 2: 17 – 29
Our Jewish Roots
17 Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, 18 and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, 19 and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. 21 You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? 22 You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? 24 For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written. 25 For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? 27 And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law? 28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.
Although I look Irish, I am a mixture of a few cultures. I find it quite amazing that some of the races of people which you might think should be hidden are proudly displayed. For example a person comes from a mixed racial couple. The race which has been mostly discriminated against you would think would be hidden is actually the one in which the person displays to all. If you ever watched the History Channel you can witnessed firsthand the atrocities that the Nazi’s did to Jews. Many people tried to hide their heritage in order to survive. However, when the insanity and persecution ended the people proudly stepped forward and were not ashamed to proclaim that they were Jewish. If you travel to Israel today you will see people from other cultures that at first do not appear to be Jews. Yet they are Jews. They have come as God has promised from all parts of the world back to the ‘land’.
Today, I would like to admit my Jewish heritage and you all might be surprised that you are also Jews. Now I see I have your attention. Shall we proceed and find out more?
In our continued study of the book of Romans the next area of concern that Paul addressed was the claim of every Jew that, as a Jew he was privileged over all other people in the world. Thus the Jew saw himself as somehow superior and as special to God. He considered therefore that God would treat him on a different plane to that on which He treated others.
Some of you may be thinking, ‘well that is fine as regards the Jew, but what has it to do with us?’ So, I just want to let you know there are similarities which I will explain to you.
The Jew saw himself as one of God’s favorites. He was after all a member of God’s treasured possession. Would you agree with me that many Christians think the same thoughts? Much of this thinking came from the facts listed in God’s Holy Word was that they were;
1. God’s holy nation and kingdom of priests (Exodus 19.5-6, “‘Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. ‘Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.” In the book of Revelation chapter 7 we are also included in this awesome benefit, “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands”
2. He was child of Abraham to whose descendants God had promised special favors (Matthew 3.9, “and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.”. We will come to see shortly that we are also sons of Abraham because of our faith in God’s Holy Anointed One, our Lord Jesus Christ.