Romans 2:17-29 The Judaizers in Rome and Circumcision

Paul previously addressed the wrath and judgment of God versus sin upon believers and unbelievers alike. Now the apostle confronts the Roman Judaizers, or the ‘circumcised’ as they are found violating the same Mosaic law they teach to others thereby condemning themselves before God.

In these verses Paul also declares that circumcision is not symbolic with salvation rather it is by faith in Jesus Christ we are saved.

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.” (Romans 2:17-18)

Addressing the Judaizers in Rome Paul labels them as hypocrites who boast about their status or the Law of Moses which they themselves do not keep.

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.” (Romans 2:19-20)

By their knowledge of the Law the Judaizers thought themselves as teachers while in fact it was the same Mosaic Law, and the fact no one could keep the Law that would expose them as corrupt teachers with a superiority complex.

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?” (Romans 2:21-23)

The Judaizers in Rome excluded themselves from the Law as they continued to teach the Law of Moses bringing dishonor to God. Looking outwardly rather than inwardly these Jews brought Christianity a bad name among the Gentiles.

24 As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” (Romans 2:24)

Though circumcised physically the Judaizers throughout Rome were not circumcised spiritually having omitted to cut themselves off from temptation, ultimately from sin by teaching the Law of Moses rather than the Law of Christ.

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.” (Romans 2:25)

Paul then confronts the Jews with a moral question by which he asks whether if is more glorifying to God that we know the Law or that we abide by it. For those who live according to the Law circumcision is therefore irrelevant.

26 If those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised?” (Romans 2:26)

For those who teach the Law but do not keep it condemnation will come from the spiritually circumcised, those who live in Christ according to His law. Condemnation will also come from God Himself.

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.” (Romans 2:27)

Paul then writes about the circumcision and the fact it can only be glorifying to God when based on faith, not outwardly physical sacrifice.

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.” (Romans 2:28-29)

The Judaizers in Rome needed rebuke and Paul delivered it. The Judaizers were condemning themselves by their ignoring the same Law they preached and needed reprieve.

These verses also apply to those who do not practice what they preach, the hypocrites among the family of Christ who ignore their sin, that which cannot be seen by men is visible to God who is all seeing.

Like the Judaizers servants of Jesus Christ and teachers of word need to examine their lives and strive toward righteousness so we are found blameless upon Christ’ return or upon judgment day. Let us pray!

ather God;
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.

Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.

God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.

May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.

We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.

Praise God,
Amen!

This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre
Email: DanielStPierre@ThriveThroughChrist.com

Posted in Bible Studies.