Romans 2:21-29

Rom 2:21 (KJV)
Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?

Here Paul is bringing up the manner of the hypocrite. He asks that when they teach a proselyte the things of the law, do they practice what they are preaching? One of the biggest forms of hypocrisy is when a preacher or teacher of the Bible instructs other Christians to live a certain way and then they go and live the opposite of what they have extracted from Scripture. He asks them if when they teach that stealing is wrong, do they steal? How adept are religious leaders at fudging the truth when it comes to themselves? This is why Paul asks them basically are they being truthful to themselves?

Rom 2:22 (KJV)
Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?

Paul continues the questions of introspection. If you tell someone not to commit adultery, are you committing it? Adultery is running rampant in the modern church and it is being endorsed by the church leaders in those congregations. How? The Bible explicitly teaches that when a divorced person remarries, they are committing adultery.
(Luke 16:18 KJV) Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery. These are the words of the Lord Jesus Christ AKA God! So clergy who remarry divorced people are aiding them in an adulterous lifestyle, yet they pound the pulpits and tell people that adultery is sin, which it is. This is the highest form of hypocrisy. They preach adultery is wrong yet they help many people commit it. Then he talks about idols. How many modern church leaders have made money their idol? How many have made themselves their own idol by being the big Ph.D. in the church and believe they cannot be challenged by the uneducated sheep in the pews? The words “commit sacrilege” carries with it the meaning of “robbing temples.” How can someone rob a temple? Or how can someone rob a church? This is the only place in the New Testament the word is used. The Jews were supposed to have abhorred the idols in pagan temples yet they followed the same methods in the area of financial dealings with their congregations. There were feasts and other celebrations where special offerings would be taken. In the modern church, look in a box of donation envelopes and you will see special offerings for almost every holiday of the year. Pagans extracted money and goods from their adherents and the modern church guilt manipulates their people into making extraneous donations. God built His church on tithes and offerings, not guilt manipulations to try and pry the wallets of people.

Rom 2:23 (KJV)
Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?

The Jews boasted in the belief they had a special relationship with God and the law was their bragging right. However, Paul is calling them hypocrites because instead of keeping the law they supposedly loved so much, they are breaking the law and he asks them if that dishonors God? Keep in mind that as Paul is bringing these accusations against the Jews, he himself is a Jew who used to be caught up in the same circles of hypocrisy they were until God opened his eyes to the truth. It is the same today that many false churches that are ordaining sodomites. Now we know that these churches are false but to the world they are identified with God being churches.

Rom 2:24 (KJV)
For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.

What is the result of the hypocrite’s lifestyle? It is the fact that God’s named will be blasphemed. Blasphemy means “slander” or “speak evil of.” The Gentiles were making fun of the name of God because the Jews were living lives contrary to what they were supposed to. If they claimed the possession of the law, then by not living according to that law, they were plain hypocrites and the name was fitting, but because the temple was supposed to have represented God among the people, His name was also blasphemed. The Gentiles probably looked at the temple as akin to one built to their pagan gods. If those who lived at the temple were so evil, then that would falsely show that these temple leaders were serving a false god and that is the worst indictment you can bring against the true living God. The church is following the same scenario. Remember in 1987-88 when the sex scandals of the evangelists took place? Who took the brunt of the actions of two false preachers? It was the church of the living God. We were all looked upon as hypocrites. What about the Roman Catholic pedophile/sodomite scandal? We know the Roman Catholic Institution is a false church but the unbelieving world sees all churches as representing God, so they lump us all together and the name of Christ is blasphemed among the heathen in this world. This is why any time Christians sin publicly, it creates a very black mark upon the church and strengthens the belief of the unbelievers that our God is just a myth. This is why there is so much in Scripture pertaining to living the Christian life according to biblical principles.

Rom 2:25 (KJV)
For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.

Part of the covenant which God made with Abraham was circumcision.
(Acts 7:8 KJV) And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs. Paul here states that the covenant of circumcision will profit the Jews if they keep the law. Circumcision was the last bastion of self-justification that the Jews held to. The problem was if circumcision was to be profitable for them, the law was to be kept simultaneously. Now if they broke the law, then their circumcision became uncircumcision, which meant they were no better than the heathen. (1 Sam 17:26 KJV) And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? Circumcision alone could not save them but the keeping of the law perfectly could. Now, only in Christ can one be as if they kept the law perfectly. (Deu 30:6 KJV) And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. In Deuteronomy, God was already speaking about the eternal covenant of Grace by using the statement that He will circumcise the heart to love the Lord thy God.

Rom 2:26 (KJV)
Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?

Going back a few verses where Paul discusses the Gentiles having their own set of laws, he now asks a pertinent question. If the uncircumcision, the heathens, keep the righteousness of the law or the essence of the law itself, then would not the fact that they are uncircumcised be counted as if they were circumcised? It would be as if they were part of the covenant of circumcision based on the fact that they were keeping the essence of the law. Basically, Paul is saying that if a Gentile was able to keep the law perfectly, then they would be part of the saved of Israel. This would mean the Gentile would be in the hands of Christ as one who kept the law perfectly and imputed that perfection to His Elect in contrast to the physical Jew who has not kept the law even though they have been circumcised.

Rom 2:27 (KJV)
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?

Now Paul brings in another approach to his point. Those unbelievers who are not circumcised, which is the natural condition because circumcision is made by men according to the law of God, if they fulfill the law, then they will judge those Jews who are circumcised but who are disobedient to the law of God. Just as Noah condemned the old world and the Queen of the South stood against that generation, the Gentiles who fulfill the law of God will condemn those who do not keep the law. Remember in verse 25, circumcision is only profitable if obedience to the law accompanies it. When Paul speaks of obedience in these past few verses, he is speaking of perfect and not partial obedience, because partial is akin to complete disobedience.
(James 2:10 KJV) For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

Rom 2:28 (KJV)
For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

Paul now ends up this section by stating that a true Jew is not one who only has the outward appearance in the flesh. Remember, the flesh profiteth nothing.
(John 6:63 KJV) It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. Physical circumcision also has lost its meaning since Christ went to the cross. Physical circumcision is only done today for health reasons and has no spiritual significance.

Rom 2:29 (KJV)
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.

(Rom 7:22 KJV) For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: Here Paul gives the definition of what a true Jew is. Deuteronomy 30:6: (Deu 30:6 KJV) And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. Paul states that a true Jew is one who is born again of the Spirit of God under the eternal covenant of Grace in contrast to the covenant that Israel made with God at Mt. Sinai which they could not keep. Only Christ was able to fulfill every demand of God’s righteous law and those who are in Christ, are as those who had kept the law in its entirety and perfectly. Thusly because of Christ’s sacrifice, we are now members of Spiritual Israel or the Israel of God. This is borne out in quite a number of other verses.

(Deu 30:6 KJV) And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

(Isa 45:17 KJV) But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.

(Rom 9:6 KJV) Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

(Gal 3:7 KJV) Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

(Gal 3:16 KJV) Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

(Gal 6:16 KJV) And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

(Eph 2:12 KJV) That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

(Phil 3:3 KJV) For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Every verse in this list speaks of the eternal covenant of Grace which comes only through the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the eternal Israel which God speaks of in Isaiah 45:17. The true Jew is the one who is saved through the Lord Jesus Christ, who was of the tribe of Judah. Those who are of the physical tribe of Judah who boast in their circumcision are as those who are uncircumcised, or unsaved. Those who are in the Lord Jesus Christ are of the spiritual tribe of Judah, which is the eternal Israel or the true Jew who is circumcised in the heart.