The Book of Romans Bible Study Chapter 2 Part 4

Let’s finish off chapter 2: Romans 2:25-29

v25: Circumcision is… profitable: Paul is not talking here about the physical act of circumcision being profitable, but about the message of circumcision being profitable. In Jewish law when the foreskin is removed it is not allowed to be thrown away or just simply disposed of. It needs to be buried. This teaches about the death of the flesh. Abraham (the man associated with faith) was the first one to whom the commandment of circumcision was given (Gen 17:9-14). The law didn’t exist when Abraham was given this commandment. This teaches us that it is not the works of the law that bring about the death of the flesh (our carnal natures), but it is when we walk in faith that we put to death the flesh.

  • Breaker of the law: Neither obeying the law nor walking in the will of G-d. 
  • Circumcision has become uncircumcision: Keeping the law should be an act of faith for us. Abraham wasn’t bound by the law (he predated it) but by faith he kept it. As believers, we aren’t bound by the law either (we “postdate” it) but, like Abraham, by faith we need to keep it. If we do not keep it then our lives are not testifying of the message of circumcision, namely that the flesh dies according to faith. If we do not walk in obedience to G-d then, although we may be outwardly circumcised, that circumcision will have no benefit for us as it will not convey truth. It becomes simply a work, and not an act of faith. If we do not display the will of G-d in our lives, we become a stumbling block and an offense, bringing dishonour to G-d. If we do not change and repent, then any act of faith we may have had in the past is accounted for as uncircumcision. 

v26: An uncircumcised man: A Gentile. 

  • Keeps the righteous requirements of the law: Although he is a Gentile he is walking in the righteous ways of the law – not walking in the flesh, but keeping the righteous requirements of the law by means of the Spirit of G-d. 
  • Uncircumcision be counted as circumcision: His righteous behaviour, his actions, are in line with the truth of G-d. Even though outwardly he is uncircumcised, G-d sees him as circumcised (walking by faith).
  • Accounted as circumcision: If a Gentile (an uncircumcised person) is sensitive to the Word of G-d, he listens to his conscience and he responds in obedience to the Word and purposes of G-d even though he is uncircumcised G-d is going to see him as circumcised – that is: a covenantal member of the family of G-d. Conversely, the Jewish individual (even though according to the letter and according to circumcision they are a covenant member) who is transgressing the Word and instructions of G-d is going to be rendered uncircumcised in G-d’s eyes – one who is not a part of the covenant family of G-d. We need to see the importance of being an individual that surrenders to the instructions of G-d.

v27: Physically uncircumcised: In the natural he is uncircumcised. 

  • Fulfils the law: Obeys G-d
  • Written code and circumcision: They have documentation and physical proof that they are a child of G-d – Jewish. The name ‘Jew’ comes from ‘Yehuda’ – which means one who gives thanks (specifically to G-d), one who wants to lift up G-d’s name. If someone is biologically Jewish but they do not give thanks, praise or lift up the name of the L-rd (ie not doing what G-d has called them to do) then he is not part of the family of G-d. G-d doesn’t look to the outward (to that physical sign of circumcision or documentation proving you are Jewish). Circumcision and documentation don’t impress G-d. He looks into the heart of man. Circumcision of the heart is through faith. 

v28: Outwardly: External. What can be seen. An outward manifestation does not necessarily mirror an inner reality. Circumcised in the body, does not mean circumcised in the heart. A work done on the body does not mean faith in the heart (Gen 15:6). Abraham’s actions weren’t accounted to him as righteousness. It was his FAITH that was accounted to him as righteousness!

v29: Inwardly: That which is hidden. Those things that cannot be seen with our human eyes. 

  • Praise is not from men: This one is not trying to impress man but living to please G-d. 

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