Romans 2:17-20 Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God; 18 if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; 19 if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth—
Paul uses a series of conditional statements to get specific in his focus on the problem of sin. He is writing now specifically to Jews who think they are special because they have access to direct revelation of God’s law. They feel that this is a privileged position that sets them above the rest of the world (the Gentiles). The application is easy to make because those who are part of the church today have the full gospel contained in the Bible. We do many of the things Paul lists here. We set ourselves aside as special because we go to church and even have our special programs of teaching little children. We have the Scriptures, study them, and even teach them to others. The question is, what do we do with all these blessings? Do we use them to further God’s kingdom in faith, humility, and worship? Or do we trust in these things as the source of our eternal life, fooling ourselves into thinking that being religious is enough to get into heaven? Paul will deal later in ch. 6 with the topic of thinking that God’s grace gives a person privilege to continue in religiosity or sensuality. God’s grace, however, should lead to change that comes only as we put our full trust in him.
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