Romans 2:17-29 “Security System”

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Most people, at some point in their lives, have carried a life insurance policy on themselves and/or their spouse.  This insurance is meant to be security for if something unthinkable would happen; we never intend to have to use it and hope we never will.  We wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) dream of such a policy as a license to live recklessly, risking our life frivolously, thinking that our stupidity or carelessness could be made up for with money upon our death.

This is, however, the very notion that Paul addresses with the church in Rome regarding Judaism.  They thought that, simply because they had the Law, they had the Land, and they had the sign (circumcision), they were somehow exempt from God’s judgment.  Claiming this led to hypocritical teaching and lifestyles that, rather than leading to God, led many away from Him. Paul’s thoughts lead to the obvious, but unsaid question: Does the Church do this too?

Questions to take home:

  1. Paul lists off a number of things that Jews referred to themselves as a part of their religious identity in verses 17-20.  Do some of these feel familiar for us as followers of Jesus? Are there things in Christianity that we cling to for our religious identity?
  2. Hypocrisy is not so much about a desire to live up to high standards but rather about holding others to standards one is unwilling to keep themselves.  Where do you find yourself guilty of this? Do we as a church do this too?
  3. Read Deuteronomy 30:6.  What does “Circumcision of the heart” mean?  How does it happen? How do you experience this reality in your walk with Christ?