A Sermon on Romans 2:17-24
But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth—you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” (ESV)
There is no difference between the Jews and Gentiles. No one is saved based on heritage or works. But, with all of this talk about wrath and condemnation, the Jews were hypocritically stirring up excuses of why they were not subject to the judgement Paul was preaching. Carefully, Paul is eliminating any excuse and showing how no man is righteous and all will be subject to wrath. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones exposes the conduct of a hypocrite: complacent, never examining himself, preaches to others but not themselves and criticizing others but not themselves. It is not enough to hear God’s word; we must also apply the truth and be humbled by it. This will produce an inward change in us. In the second half of the message, Dr. Lloyd-Jones discusses the Jew’s last resort excuse of circumcision. Paul carefully outlines that those who rely on this outward sign are missing the point that God only cares about the inward sign of true change and repentance. Circumcision is pointless unless it also comes with a changed heart. Let us not rely on nationality, outward signs or misguided truths but always be in humble adoration of a Lord that provided a way for salvation from wrath.