International Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday July 3, 2016
Purpose: To demonstrate God’s truth within us by the way we live
Bible Lesson: Romans 2:17-29
Background Scripture: Psalm 104; Romans 2:14-29
Key Verse: It isn’t the ones who hear the Law who are righteous in God’s eyes. It is the ones who do what the Law says who will be treated as righteous. (Romans 2:13)
Romans 2:17-29 (CEB)
(17) But, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law; if you brag about your relationship to God; (18) if you know the will of God; if you are taught by the Law so that you can figure out the things that really matter; (19) if you have persuaded yourself that you are: a guide for the blind; a light to those who are in darkness; (20) an educator of the foolish; a teacher of infants (since you have the full content of knowledge and truth in the Law); (21) then why don’t you who are teaching others teach yourself? If you preach, “No stealing,” do you steal? (22) If you say, “No adultery,” do you commit adultery? If you hate idols, do you rob temples? (23) If you brag about the Law, do you shame God by breaking the Law? (24) As it is written: The name of God is discredited by the Gentiles because of you. (25) Circumcision is an advantage if you do what the Law says. But if you are a person who breaks the Law, your status of being circumcised has changed into not being circumcised. (26) So if the person who isn’t circumcised keeps the Law, won’t his status of not being circumcised be counted as if he were circumcised? (27) The one who isn’t physically circumcised but keeps the Law will judge you. You became a lawbreaker after you had the written Law and circumcision. (28) It isn’t the Jew who maintains outward appearances who will receive praise from God, and it isn’t people who are outwardly circumcised on their bodies. (29) Instead, it is the person who is a Jew inside, who is circumcised in spirit, not literally. That person’s praise doesn’t come from people but from God.
Some Thoughts by Burgess Walter
Many modern day Christians rely on their baptism, or church membership, just as the Jews Paul was writing to, depended on their circumcision.
The same applies to a lot of church members that have not attempted to live any differently than the world, but are trusting in a ritual or act to save them from +God’s judgement.
Being a follower of Christ means more than going through some ritual. We cannot put our hope in church, or denomination membership. God will judge us on what we do with the knowledge we have. The measuring stick that will be used is Jesus, where do we stand in relation to Him? How have we responded to is commands? Remembering Jesus reduced all of the law into these two commandments found in Mark 12 (29) Jesus replied, “The most important one is Israel, listen! Our God is the one Lord, (30) and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your mind, and with all your strength. (31) The second is this, You will love your neighbor as yourself. [b] No other commandment is greater than these.”
Anyone today that thinks they are going to skate through judgment because they have belonged to some denomination or have been baptized is standing in the same place as the Jews Paul was addressing in this passage.
True followers of Christ have a circumcised heart. That is life should be lived as Christ lived. Every effort should be made to keep from sinning, not seeing how much we can get away with and still be called a Christian. Our lives should reflect Jesus. Our goal should be to be as much like Jesus as we can be.
There is a great old hymn that we don’t sing much anymore, “More About Jesus would I know, more of his love to others show.” While all of our works outside of Jesus is as filthy rags, only what we do for Him will surely last.