Paul’s Letter to the Roman’s Part 17

This entry is part 17 of 35 in the series Paul's Letter to the Romans

Paul’s Letter to the Romans (17)
If he can do so, it is the same as if I had no written contract. And
that honestly represents the condition of the Jew. Why boast of
being circumcised and of having the law, if he had broken the
covenant? The Jew put stress upon the sign and not the substance.
He boasted of the covenant and broke it every day.

Part 17

“Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of
the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?”
(Romans 2:26) See how Paul acts. He does not say that the
uncircumcision overcomes circumcision, but that the
uncircumcision has become circumcision. And he next enquires
what circumcision is, and what uncircumcision is, and he says that
circumcision is well doing and uncircumcision is evil doing. He had
just stated the doctrine that circumcision was of no value to the
person who did not live right. But what of the Gentile who lived in
harmony with the moral requirements of the law, though he had not
been circumcised? In not being circumcised the Gentile violated no
law, for the law did not require the Gentile to be circumcised.
Hence, the Gentile could neglect circumcision without sin; and if he
lived a moral upright life, he would be considered as if he had been
circumcised. Some Romans, in their anxiety to get rid of the
necessity of baptism, argued that Paul’s a reasoning on
circumcision could be applied to baptism. They ask: “If an
unbaptized person lives right, shall he not be considered as if he
had been baptized?” But their effort at running that sort of parallel
fails. Gentiles had not been commanded to be circumcised, and
therefore violated no law, committed no sin, in not being
circumcised; whereas gospel obedience, including baptism, is
required of all people. Everyone to whom the command to be
circumcised extended had to be circumcised or be cut off from his
people; he had broken the covenant, and was no longer considered
one of God’s people. If, therefor, these theologians could establish
a parallel between circumcision and baptism, they would thereby
prove that everyone to whom the command to be baptized
extended would have to be baptized or be cut off. Paul’s purpose
was to make all men see themselves as condemned sinners and to
cause them to realize their need of salvation through Christ.
“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?” (v. 27) The uncircumcised by nature are gentiles. “Judge”

is here used in the sense of condemn. “The letter” refers to the law
of Moses. The Jews had the law and were circumcised. Paul,
therefore, affirms of the Gentile, if he fulfilled the law, would
condemn the Jew. Just as Noah by his ordinance, condemned the
world. “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as
yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by
the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the
righteousness which is by faith” (Hebrews 11:7).
“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”
(Romans 2:28-29). Paul shows not only that there is no difference

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