Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written.
For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law? 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.
“the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written.” Wow! Does this not apply to today? The actions of Christians who do not give evidence of the truth in their daily lives has caused the rest of the unbelieving world to blaspheme God because of them. Can we agree? Paul places the truth of the matter right out on the table for us. He talks of the law and circumcision which apply to the Jew, but the heart of the matter is reliance upon tradition alone to make us right with God. If we do what we do out of tradition or ritual and the heart is not in it, it is a false picture. It will bring judgment against us and harm to the message of the cross. There is no true relationship with God and we do damage to the work of the kingdom of God. So do we simply try to follow a set of rules, at which we fail because our heart is not in it? Or do we own what we say, and is it evident in our daily walk that brings us into contact with others? Can we share genuinely because we own it and practice it? In business practice and in education we have a phrase; we must all put into the solution for change if we will all have ownership and that will make the possibility for change to come more likely. Each one involved must believe in it and we have a tendency to believe in a model if we participate in the development of it. Paul reminds us that if our heart is not in it, it will fail. Our take away: Are we teaching from a point of practice? Are we sharing because we own it and apply it to ourselves? Reflect on our hearts’ position; is it in tradition or traditional practice or is it embracing from the heart the message given by God through his son and his people? Do share and share from the heart, from ownership. ” that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.”