Romans 2:17-29 – July 8, 2007

July 1, 2007 at 8:45 pm Leave a comment

BEING JEWISH IS NOT ENOUGH (verse 17-29)

Each study will have an error in one of the questions. It is our duty as believers to test everything that we read or hear with the Bible. So this will be a mini exercise in testing what is being said in class.

Q1) Strong words are used in verses 17-24 and they are again directed at the Jews particularly. What is Paul saying to them here?

Discussion)    We spent a good deal of time discussing this.  Here we see that Paul is making the case that just because Jewish people may know the law inside and out, that does not make them better than the Gentile people.  We see that many of the Jewish people knew the law and pointed out the faults of others but did the same type of thing that they were pointing out.  This sounds like our society today.  The hardest person to check upon is your oneself.  

Q2) Can this apply to the church today and if so how?

Discussion)    Yes this can and should apply to the church today and also to every believer.

Verses 17-18)    We discussed these and a phrase in verse 18 jumped out “and know His will”.  Paul is talking to the Jews who had kept the law.  We see that they were able to know the will of God.  As Christians today if we want to know the will of God, we need to go back to the law that He established in the Old Testament.  If what you feel is being asked of you by God goes against His law and would be considered sin, it is time to check upon what voice you are hearing and if it is truly that of God.

Verses 19-23)    Here we see that even though many Jewish people talked the talk, Paul is asking in so many words if they are walking the walk that they are talking about.

Verse 24)    This is a very intense verse.  Paul is quoting Isaiah 52:5 and Ezekiel 36:22 here.  We need to understand that in the Old Testament, as God gave the law to Moses and the Israelites that He intended things to happen through two signs.  The two signs are the laws that God gave the Israelites and the circumcision that was to be done to each Jewish male.  These were to be outward signs to the rest of the nations that Israel was the favored nation from God.  As the nation of Israel grew and was blessed by God that other nations would want what Israel had and that the Jewish people would point all other nations to Jehovah and the other nations would want to follow Jehovah.  This only worked during David and Solomon’s reigns.  During all the other reigns of all of the prophets, judges, and kings, this did not happen.  Instead the Jewish people became proud of the two outward signs of the covenant with God and the kept Jehovah for themselves.  So instead of the Gentiles wanting to come to Jehovah they started to blaspheme the name of God because of the Israelites.

Q3) Verses 25-29 talk about circumcision. Explain what spiritual circumcision means.

Discussion)    Spiritual circumcision is to cut the fleshly lusts off of each one of our spiritual hearts.  That comes in the form of dying to self each day and put on the mind of Christ and what He desires each day.

Q4) In verse 25 Paul talks about their circumcision being made uncircumcision. What does this mean?

Discussion)    This is a tough question.  It means that the outward appearance of circumcision means nothing if you do not keep the law.  If you are guilty in one area of the law you are guilty of breaking the whole law.  

Q5) Verse 26 means that those who do well all their lives will enter Heaven. Explain.

Clues)    This is the trick question.

Discussion)    Verse 26 means that if a Gentile can keep the righteous requirements of the law then he will be counted circumcised.  We talked about that phrase “the righteous requirements of the law” which means that it is not based upon our righteousness, but upon the righteousness of God, which Jesus gave to us through His death upon the cross.  This comes to us through faith, which we will get into in the first part of chapter 3.

Q6) What do verses 27-29 mean?

Discussion)    This is very interesting.  Verse 27 states that the person described in verse 26 can actually judge a Jewish person that is circumcised but does not keep the law.  

Verses 28 – 29 are very interesting in that Paul, who is Jewish, states that a true Jew is someone who inwardly (spiritually) circumcises their own heart and goes after God with reckless abandon.  Whether the person is a Jew or a Gentile it does not matter.  It just matters what is in the heart of the person.  Other places Jesus and Paul explain that the Gentiles are grafted into the tree of Israel.  Here Paul explains what the true nature of a Jew, as God sees the person.   

LIFE APPLICATION: We know what physical circumcision means. How can we have the Lord circumcise our hearts?

Discussion)    Whenever we hear or feel that the Lord wants to do something in our heart and lives to make us more like Christ we need to let Him.  A quote that I shared with class is from Myer Pearlman who was a preacher from the early 1900’s.  “God wants to shape us into the likeness of Christ whether we are made of metal or clay.  It is not on the mountain tops that God will do this since anything made on the mountain tops will disintegrate in the valleys of our lives.  Instead it is in the valleys of our lives that God shapes us into the likeness of Christ, for when it happens here then it will last when we go to the mountain tops.”

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Entry filed under: Time in the Word.

Romans 2:1-16 – July 1, 2007 Romans 3:1-20 – July 15, 2007

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