Listen:  120.1

Let’s establish a foundation for answering your question by first reading Romans 2:17, “Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God.”  This verse shows us that the Apostle Paul is addressing Jewish people in this portion.  I encourage you to read this entire portion.  Paul is pointing out that these Jews rested in the law; they boasted in their relationship with the Lord.  They claimed to know the Lord’s will and could discern what was excellent.  They instructed the foolish and taught the babes, yet they did not even listen to their own words and apply it to themselves.  They taught that adultery was sin, yet they committed adultery.  They taught against idol worship, yet they committed sacrilege.  They boasted in their knowledge of the law, yet they dishonored the Lord by breaking the law.  Paul goes on to write in Romans 2:24, “For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.”  Because of their depraved lifestyles, these so-called representatives of the Lord caused the Gentiles to speak evil against the Lord.

Now let’s read Romans 2:25-29, “For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”  Jewish circumcision was the mark of that nation’s being truly separated to the Lord.  But it was only good if one was truly separated to the Lord.  The Lord is not impressed by outward show or ceremony.  We read in 1 Samuel 16:7 that, “…the Lord looketh on the heart.”  For the Jew to be circumcised and yet live a life that is dishonoring to the Lord, that circumcision meant nothing; it was if he had never been circumcised.  Yet, if the uncircumcised ones, or the Gentiles, obeyed the moral righteousness of the law of God, it was if they were the truly circumcised ones.  The superior conduct of the Gentiles condemned the ungodly lifestyles of these Jews.

Let’s keep in mind that the language here is allegorical.  We Gentiles are not Jews.  In fact, we read in Romans 10:12, “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek…”  The Jews here represent God’s people.  In the Lord’s reckoning, a true Jew is not one who is merely a descendant of Abraham, or one who undergoes circumcision.  This could be true of the vilest sinner.  A true Jew is the one who walks in obedience to the Lord and honors Him with their lives.

How do we make application of this portion to ourselves?  As we read in Romans 2:17, “Behold, thou art called a Jew…”  It might be said of us, “Behold, you call yourself a Christian…”  Do we claim to be a Christian, yet dishonor the Lord with our actions?  Do we try to teach others, but do not apply the Word of God to ourselves?  Do we speak out against sin while indulging in sin?  Do we claim to be separated unto the Lord while, in fact, we are enjoying the most deplorable things this ungodly world has to offer?  Are you truly a Christian?  Have you truly put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?  If so, 1 Thessalonians 2:12 exhorts you to, “…walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.”  May we, as true saints of God, live lives that honor the Lord and not cause others to blaspheme His name because of our actions.  (120.1)