Romans 2:16-29 A cart before the horse
16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
(Colossians 1:5 “For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel”)
17 Behold, thou art called a Jew (part of the Covenant of Abraham, House of Israel), and restest (remain) in the law (Torah), and makest thy boast (rejoice) of God,
18 And knowest his will (the thing, choice), and approves (examine and verify) the things that are more excellent (have more value), being instructed (to indoctrinate) out of (of the point whence action or motion proceeds) the law (Torah);
19 And art confident that thou thyself art a guide (teacher) of the blind (those that do not see the truth), a light of them which are in darkness,
20 An instructor (trainer) of the foolish (those without understanding), a teacher of babes (immature believers), which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law (Torah).
21 Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest (proclaim divine truth) a man should not steal, dost thou steal?
Paul is telling us ….if we proclaim the title and duty of preaching the Word of God then for heaven’s sake we should also be living a life consistent with that word, which is, Torah.
22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?
Sacrilege is to rob the temple, needing to teaching themselves, the Circumcision Party would have to learn to stop stealing the power of Jesus’ salvation through their teachings.
23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law (Pharisaical writings), through breaking the law (Torah) dishonourest thou God?
24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you (these legalistic Jews were teaching circumcision controlled the destiny of men and not the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, they were adding requirements to the gospel of salvation as well as adding the Pharisaical writings), as it is written.
25 For circumcision (physical appearance) verily profiteth, if thou keep the law (Torah): but if thou be a breaker of the law (Torah), thy circumcision (physical appearance) is made uncircumcision. (Meaning your separation away from the world is no more.)
26 Therefore if the uncircumcision (Goyim – Greeks etc.) keep (chosen to create covenant with YHWH) the righteousness of the law (Torah), shall not his uncircumcision (physical appearance) be counted for circumcision? (cutting away from the world – being set apart by covenant)
27 And shall not uncircumcision (unregenerate person) which is by nature, if it fulfil (complete) the law (Torah), judge thee, who by the letter (Pharisaical writings) and circumcision (Pharisaical rituals) dost transgress the law (Torah)?
28 For he is not a Jew (a part of the House of Israel), which is one outwardly (just physical circumcised, wear tzitzis etc.); neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
29 But he is a Jew (a part of the House of Israel), which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart (made a commitment to the marriage to YHWH and the covenant of Torah), in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Deuteronomy 10:12-16 “ And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?
Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is. Only the Lord had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff-necked.”
**By the 1st century, Judaism had a very strict code of conversion which included a year long process of 7 different attributes of Jewish belief that must be taught to a convert. The attributed included the Torah as well as many of the traditions and rules created by the Scribes and Pharisees. These rules and traditions, for Salvation only, were eliminated by the death and resurrection of Jesus and Paul is presenting to the Romans, Greeks and Jews the commands in which Jesus taught in returning to Torah teachings save the new blood covenant in which He became our sacrifice.
The cart is Torah, Salvation is the horse….or better yet… the Lamb.