Summary: Romans 2:12-29
(12) All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. (13) For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (14) Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, (15) since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them. (16) This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
(17) Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and brag about your relationship to 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 infants, 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? (23) You who brag about 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."
(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) 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 man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. (29) No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God.
One of the many things Paul is good at is correcting the Jews and especially the Jewish leaders. He was able to do this you remember because he was a Jew at one time. He was the same way that he sees these Jews being here.
We are going to look at not only what Paul is laying out for these Jews here but also what the application is today for us as Christians.
Paul starts by laying out to them some reasons why they, the Jews, think they are so special. But then he quickly takes that and points out to them that these reasons are what actually make them hypocrites.
Let’s look at some of these and then look at how Paul turns them around.
They are Jews, the chosen people of God.
That they rely on the law and they had been the ones God had entrusted it to.
They bragged about their relationship with God and not idles and such that the Pagans worshipped.
They knew His will being God revealed it to them.
They approved of what was superior in dietary laws, lifestyle restrictions, worship instruction etc.
They believed that they were a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, and a teacher of infants.
That they had in the law knowledge and truth.
I can see how over hundreds and hundreds of years of God giving the Jews this direct revelation, and no others, how they could have gotten so self-righteous.
Here is what Paul tells them about all this and pretty much pops their bubble.
They taught others but did not really teach themselves in a way that was meaningful.
They preached against stealing but yet stole.
They preached against adultery, but committed adultery.
They abhorred idols but yet stole them from pagan temples.
They bragged about the law, yet dishonored God by breaking it.
Paul quotes to them a portion of Isaiah 52:5
(24) As it is written: "God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."
You see the Jews because of there hypocritical ways were causing others to think of them and God as a joke. They had not been taken seriously by some and all it did was make God look bad.