Paul is trying to make the Jews understand that simply being a Jew – being circumcised, being taught the law, going to church on Sunday – is not what saves. Even the gentiles – who don’t have the written law – instinctively obey the law because it is written on their hearts, “for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.”
I’m struck by the lack of phrases like “it’s not about you” or “you can’t please God without accepting Jesus” or “your best is as filthy rags.” I see lots of speak about being right before God by choosing to obey the law – whether written/taught or instincively/in your heart.v2 – God will punish anyone who does such things
v5 – you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself
v6 – God will judge everyone for what they have done
v7 – He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good
v8 – He will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves
v9 – There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil
v10 – there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good
v12 – when the Gentiles sin, they will be destroyed
v13 – it is obeying the law that makes us right in His sight
v25 – if you don’t obey God’s law, you are no better off than an uncircumcised Gentile
v26 – if the Gentiles obey God’s law, won’t God declare them to be his own people?
Here’s the key:
V29 – No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather it is a change of heart produced by God’s Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.
Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…
God, thank You for Your awesome plan. Thank You that You made a way that none of us would be abandoned. Help us to understand this idea of putting You first in our lives – our eyes on You and nothing else – and how everything else will just take care of itself. We praise Your Name. We uncover our secret sin to You, God – knowing You already know about it. Heal us – change us – save us! We need You, God.