In Romans 2:12-16 we learned we will all be judged by the Torah. We learned that merely possessing the Torah or being born into the covenant means nothing but doing the Torah justifies us. Starting in verse 17 Paul continues these same thoughts.
But if you bear the name “Jew” and rely upon the Torah and boast in G-d, and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Torah, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Torah the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth, you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal? You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the Torah, through your breaking the Torah, do you dishonor G-d? For “the name of G-d is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” just as it is written. Romans 2:17-24
As we continue into verse 17 Paul discusses relying upon the Torah which are those who rely upon their being born into the covenant. These are not doers of the Torah. He continues showing how these hearers and teachers of the Torah do not actually follow Torah therefore they blasphemed the name of G-d.
Paul is not saying we no longer need to obey Torah. Instead, he is opposing those who elevate themselves because they possess the Torah and yet do not obey it. G-d does not accept their hypocrisy. Instead of claiming from from Torah, Paul is teaching the importance of obedience to it. The point of Paul’s argument is that reliance upon the Torah (being born into it), and not a circumcision of the heart, results in judgment based on Romans 2:12.
Next Paul speaks about one of his most debated topics…circumcision.
Until next time…kadosh, kadosh, kadosh is HaShem!