"...he is a Jew who is one inwardly..."
Text: Romans 2:29
WHO IS “THE JEW”?
The word “Jew” comes from “Judah”. It literally means “praise”. Paul played with the word “Jew” in the following text.
“For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly;
nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh;
but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision
is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter;
whose praise is not from men but from God.”
1. The standard definition
The legalistic description of a Jew focuses on the subject of whether he has been circumcised. If so, he deserves the praise of both God and men!
2. A bold departure
Paul offered a bold and new dimension of thought:-
a) He is a Jew inwardly
b) Circumcision is of the heart
Paul showed great familiarity with the Old Testament Scriptures when he made this point. Consider the following texts:
“Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart,
and be stiff-necked no longer.”
“Circumcise yourselves to the LORD
And take away the foreskins of your hearts…”
c) In the Spirit, not in the letter
i) The letter of the law is not everything.
ii) The Spirit of the law must be carefully considered and added.
3. What really counts?
a) Is it the praise of men?
b) Is it the praise of God?
It is obvious that Paul suggested that what ultimately matters is that one receives praise from God. Does the “physical Jew” wish to receive praise from God? Then he must give attention to being a “spiritual Jew”. Therein lies the fullness of blessing from God!