Romans 2:25-27 Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. 26 So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? 27 The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.
One of the confusions for early Christians was about the Jewish practice of circumcision. Paul tries to explain this practice in light of the good news of Jesus and bring together different ideas. Circumcision is a sign of covenant or agreement with God to live by faith. But if a person refuses to obey God, this covenant is useless. Verse 25 links the assumed faith that should grow out of circumcision with the necessary obedience that confirms faith. The key factor is the obedience of faith, or obedience that confirms faith. A person who obeys God and has not been circumcised, namely a Gentile Christian, has a better standing before God than the circumcised Jew who refuses to obey. The Gentile who is faithful and fully trusts in God is better off than the Jew. Paul is putting the Jews on the same level as the Gentiles. Both those who are circumcised and those who are not will be judged by the same criteria: whether they have followed the light that God has given. Paul will go on to show that both are guilty of breaking the law. At this point, he is simply showing the Jews that they are no better off than the Gentiles when it comes to guilt before God’s law.
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