The Jews and the Law – Romans 2:12-29
12 All who have sinned apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 14 When Gentiles, who do not possess the law, do instinctively what the law requires, these, though not having the law, are a law to themselves.15 They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, to which their own conscience also bears witness; and their conflicting thoughts will accuse or perhaps excuse them 16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God, through Jesus Christ, will judge the secret thoughts of all.
The Jews and the Law
17 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast of your relation to God 18 and know his will and determine what is best because you are instructed in the law, 19 and if you are sure that you are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth, 21 you, then, that teach others, will you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You that forbid adultery, do you commit adultery? You that abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You that boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law?24 For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”
25 Circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law; but if you break the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 So, if those who are uncircumcised keep the requirements of the law, will not their uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 27 Then those who are physically uncircumcised but keep the law will condemn you that have the written code and circumcision but break the law. 28 For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is true circumcision something external and physical. 29 Rather, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart—it is spiritual and not literal. Such a person receives praise not from others but from God.
What does the Passage Say?
V. 12-16 We cannot condem the people, who never heard about the law. The Jews at that time, dispised the people who didn’t live according to the law, but Paul says, “If you sin without knowing what you’re doing, God takes that into account. But if you sin knowing full well what you’re doing, that’s a differnt story entirely” (v. 12 The Message). He also says there are some who hear the law, but never follow. Therefore he is telling the Jews to be obeident to the Law.
V. 17-29 Now Paul’s criticizm toward the Jews start. He says, “if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law” (v. 18 NIV), which means don’t boast that you are a Jew. The reason why he says this is becuase there are many Jews, who know the Law but doesn’t follow it faithfully (v. 20-24).
Then he says, “Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised” (v. 25 NIV) There were some Gentiles, who doesn’t have the circumcision, but still observe the Law. Meaning that circumcision is not the sign of being God’s people, but obedience to follow God’s will is more imporatnt.
What does this mean to us?
When Paul say, ‘it is not important hearing the law, but it is important to follow the law,’ I had to ask to my mind, ‘how much do we know about the law?’
The law means that we know God’s will. Knowing God will only comes from knowing about God through the Bible. However, we live in a Bible illiturate world. How can we follow the word, if we do not know the word.
Lord, help us develop a desire to learn about your law and faithfully follow your will. Let us become a beacon of light in this dark world. In Jesus name, Amen
What is your thought?
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