Romans 2:25-29

Romans 2:25-29 — For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.

Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?

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?

For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

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.

Circumcision was the seal of God’s covenant.

Circumcision didn’t justify, but it did profit if a person kept the law (in the sense of endeavoring to keep it, not perfection). But nobody does keep the law, so circumcision doesn’t help save.

To be a Jew, one had to be 1) born of Abraham through Isaac and 2) spiritually in good standing with God (circumcision of the heart). So born of Abraham and born again of the Spirit.

Righteousness of the law (verse 26) — an effort to obey one’s conscience

Inwardly = literally “in secret” — not obeying the Law for show

Don’t be circumcised (in an attempt to obey the Law) unless you plan to follow the entire Law. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law (Galatians 5:3).

But instead … We are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:3).

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6 Responses to Romans 2:25-29

  1. jeff says:

    Just wondering if you could clarify what you mean that Jews were born again of the Spirit.

  2. Walker says:

    John 3:3-6 — Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

    Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

    Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

    That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

  3. jeff says:

    So OT Jews were born again, spirit-indwelt?

  4. Walker says:

    The Holy Spirit, as I understand it, only indwelled O.T. Jews for specific purposes for limited periods. Perhaps Nicodemus was a special case because of his position as a ruler of the Jews and because of the fact that Jesus Christ’s ministry was about to be completed. Lewis Sperry Chafer, in his Systematic Theology says : It is significant that this imperative was not addressed to the lowest member of Jewish society but to one of its rulers who could serve as the supreme example of all that entered into the reality which Judaism provided.

    Certainly, however, by the time Paul was writing to the church at Rome, Jewish believers were indwelt (although, until they received Paul’s message, they couldn’t fully understand complete justification and sanctification in Christ) .

  5. jeff says:

    I’m not sure about verse 29. Leviticus 26:41 talks about the uncircumcised heart, obviously the circumcised heart didn’t mean spiritual rebirth since it wasn’t possible then, as I understand it. I think the spirit rather than the letter is not referring to the Holy SPirit, but rather the spirit in which they take the Law–which was supposed to be a faith approach rather than a checklist approach. Take the spirit not the letter is used several times and I don’t think it’s ever referring to the Holy Spirit specifically. King James doesn’t even captialize it.

    I think Jesus asked Nic why he didn’t know about rebirth because as a well-informed Jew Nic should have known that when Messiah came people would have the Spirit according to the prophecies in Joel and so forth. Another frustrating person Jesus had to deal with with little knowledge. But after Jesus got done Nic got it and left! Didn’t get it until much later. Nic thought he knew stuff, Jesus showed him he didn’t. Jesus always nails people right where they need nailing.

  6. Walker says:

    You’re probably right about verse 29. It makes sense.

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