Just as salvation came first to the Jews (1:16), so too judgment will come first to the Jews (2:9). Simply being Jewish ainâ€™t no excuse; in fact it brings greater condemnation. True Jewishness is not a matter of ethnic birth or outward circumcision or merely having the law but also of spiritual birth, an inward circumcision of the heart and obedience to the spirit of the law.
Some Jewish judges though they were exempt from judgment simply because 1) they knew the law (even though they did not practice it) and 2) they felt exempt was due to their circumcision.
Paul is not here saying that obedient Gentiles are spiritual Jews. He is merely defining what true Jewishness is in Godâ€™s sight. Spiritual Gentiles are not spiritual Jews. In Christ the two (Jew, Gentile) are one new man.
Stephen Atkerson (M.Div., Mid-America Baptist Seminary) helps church leaders discover simple growth strategies that Jesus gave the early church. For over 30 years, he has worked with evangelists, missionaries, church planters, and pastors in Asia, the Americas, Europe and...