Paul continues in Romans 2, to challenging those who believe they can depend on who they are or what they have done for salvation. The last couple of posts we looked at where Paul challenged those Jews who were relying on being Jews for their salvation. Now Paul is showing you cannot depend on your actions either…
For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice Torah; but if you are a transgressor of Torah, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. So if the uncircumcised man keeps the requirements of Torah, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? And he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Torah, will he not judge you who though having the letter of the Torah and circumcision are a transgressor of the Torah? Romans 2:25-27
Paul stresses just as possession of the Torah is not enough, neither is circumcision enough if you do not obey Torah. Again, I want to stress that Paul is not saying you have to keep the Torah for salvation. No, Paul is merely repeating the basic premise of what he said in verses 14:15 – For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them.
Paul is not arguing if circumcision is necessary or unnecessary. He is arguing that just as possession of the Torah does not give you any special privileges neither does an external sign of the covenant. If you want the blessings of the Torah then follow Torah.
Now that we know that possessing the Torah nor external signs of the Torah matter not if you are not following the Torah, next we will find out who is a Jew.
Until next time…kadosh, kadosh, kadosh is HaShem!