For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?(Rom 2:25-27)
One may argue with Paul, as he’s been reasoning in these verses, by asking him, “Well what about circumcision?”. Paul has been arguing that just being a Jewish person isn’t enough. He has also been arguing that posessing the law isn’t enough. The law must be obeyed.
So the natural question for the Jewish person might be, “Well, Paul, I’ve kept all the cermonial law. I’ve been circumcised! What was the point of all of that? Doesn’t that make me right with God?”
Here is Paul’s response in these verses. Sure, it was important to obey God in the ceremonial law if you are Jew. If one perfectly kept the rest of the law, then keeping the ceremonial part would have been profitable. If they would have been perfectly righteous, never violating any of God’s commands, then keeping those commands would retain their perfect record. But in terms of standing righteous and guiltless before God, being circumcised doesn’t undo the guilt that a person accrues by breaking the rest of the law. This is what he means when he says, “For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law; but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumsion.”
He even makes the argument that those who are uncircumcised (gentiles), if they were to keep the moral law perfectly, would be right with God despite being uncircumcised. He even says that the fact that there are uncircumcised (gentiles) who are more moral than some who are circumcised and possess God’s written law says something about the Jew. This is a judgement on the Jew, and reveals that the point is not to posess the law, or to conform to some ceremonial standard to outwork your law breaking, but rather to obey the law. This is the problem, because in breaking one law the whole law is broken.
Here is the summary statement: Keeping the ceremonial law is not enough to make you guiltless before a Holy God.
In the context we live in people rest in all kinds of religious activity as symbolic of their right standing with God. They may claim baptism, church membership, observing communion, or doing any number of “good works” as what will get them to heaven.
While there is merit to being obedient in these areas, none of these or any other religious activity will get you into heaven by making you right with God.
1. Are you trusting in some religous activity to make you right with God? Your trusting in the wrong thing! Repent!
2. Do you know someone who is trusting in something that won’t save them? How can you help this person?