“If you’re brought up Jewish, don’t assume that you can lean back in the arms of your religion and take it easy, feeling smug because you’re an insider to God’s revelation, a connoisseur of the best things of God, informed on the latest doctrines!
I have a special word of caution for you who are sure that you have it all together yourselves and, because you know God’s revealed Word inside and out, feel qualified to guide others through their blind alleys and dark nights and confused emotions to God.
While you are guiding others, who is going to guide you?
I’m quite serious.
While preaching “Don’t steal!” are you going to rob people blind? Who would suspect you?
The same with adultery.
The same with idolatry.
You can get by with almost anything if you front it with eloquent talk about God and his law.
The line from Scripture, “It’s because of you Jews that the outsiders are down on God,” shows it’s an old problem that isn’t going to go away.
Circumcision, the surgical ritual that marks you as a Jew, is great if you live in accord with God’s law. But if you don’t, it’s worse than not being circumcised.
The reverse is also true: The uncircumcised who keep God’s ways are as good as the circumcised—in fact, better.
Better to keep God’s law uncircumcised than break it circumcised.
Don’t you see: It’s not the cut of a knife that makes a Jew.
You become a Jew by who you are.
It’s the mark of God on your heart, not of a knife on your skin, that makes a Jew.
And recognition comes from God, not legalistic critics.”
So, this excerpt was taken from the book of Romans 2: 17-29. Here, Paul focuses on hypocrisy, a trait that all of us from time to time may exude.
The great ignorance of religion is that people don’t realise that God approves matters of the heart.
He seeks a circumcision of the heart by the Spirit. This is what results in the praise of God. Why? Because what a man is inwardly is the true measure of what he is before God.
With this said, my point is this; as shocking as it may sound, there will be many religious people in hell. In fact, hell will be populated with people from every religious persuasion. Why? It is because many people are locked into a false religious confidence. They trusted in religion instead of Christ. In the end, they were too religious for their own good.
Everything ultimately, in my opinion, boils down to your relationship with God and not your relationship with religion. Two very different things.
I know this is a slightly different format of Scripture Sundays, but I spent yesterday reading the book of Romans and I really, really enjoyed it and wanted to share what impacted me most.
Hope it adds value to you, even if you aren’t ‘religious’.
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