Gracious, Saving God, I know what You did to reconcile me to You. I’m so thankful for that great gift.
Read ROMANS 2:17-29
 Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and brag about your relationship to God;  if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law;  if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark,  an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth-  you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal?  You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?  You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law?  As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”  Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised.  If those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised?  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.  A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical.  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. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat is one terrible result of hypocritical behavior?
Paul now turns his attention to the Jews of his day. Jews regarded themselves as superior to Gentiles because they were God’s chosen people, the nation with which the covenant had been made, the people who had received the Law and were chosen to guide others in knowing God.
The Jews have taken this identity as the people of God and turned it into a source of pride and superiority over the Gentiles. Paul’s criticism is that they know and teach the Law, but don’t keep it. They, too, are clearly sinners. Circumcision was the outward sign of the covenant God made with Abraham (Gen. 17:9-14). Paul warns against “hiding” behind this sign and ignoring its meaning.
What of those of us who are not Jews? We are encouraged to face the reality that we often like to think of ourselves as superior to others. Within the Church we are in danger of feeling proud that we are not like others, that we are somehow better than them. We can rely on our denominational rituals for joining the Church (baptism, confirmation, and so on) and end up cold toward God.
Are you in danger of trusting in your Christian upbringing or denominational rituals for your salvation?
Lord, may my pride be in You, my Savior, and in nothing else but what You did for me on the cross.
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