A Series on Romans - #4
What is the Advantage of being Chosen?
The Jews and the Law
17 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— 21 you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”
“Practice in Christianity” by Soren Kierkegaard, pg. 88-89:
But that the established order has become something divine, is regarded as the divine, is a falsehood brought about by ignoring its own origin. When a commoner has become a nobleman, he usually makes every possible effort to have his vita ante acta [earlier life] forgotten. So also with the established order. The established order also began with that collision between the single individual and the established order, began with the single individual’s relationship with God, but now that is to be forgotten, the bridge cut down, and the established order deified.
Strangely enough, this deification of the established order is the perpetual revolt, the continual mutiny against God. That is, God wants to be involved (and one can scarcely blame him for that), wants to have a little bit of control of the world’s development, or he wants to keep the human race developing. The deification of the established order, however, is the smug invention of the lazy, secular human mentality that wants to settle down and fancy that now there is total peace and security, now we have achieved the highest. And then - then along comes a singular one, a Mr. Impudence, who fancies himself as being higher than the established order. But, no, this is not to say that he is self-deluded; it could very well be that he is the “gadfly” the established order needed to keep it from falling asleep or from falling into what is even worse, self-deification. Every human being is to live in fear and trembling, and likewise no established order is to be exempted from fear and trembling. Fear and trembling signify that we are in the process of becoming; and every single individual, likewise the generation, is and should be aware of being in the process of becoming. And fear and trembling signify that there is a God - Something every human being and every established order ought not to forget for a moment.
25 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[c] written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.
28 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.
3.1 What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? 2 Much in every way! First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God.
David is a Theologian and Ethicist.