Focal passages: Romans 2:17-29
In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “It’s not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.” Practice what you preach.
We are in an election year, and I often find myself looking and listening to candidates for office speak with great confidence and conviction about what we should be doing in order to be good citizens.
The problem I have is that their own lives and practices are not remotely close to the expectations they have of others.
Their actions are often antithetical to the words they speak. This hypocrisy abounds in election cycles, or perhaps it is just more visible. Either way, the urge to yell, “Practice what you preach!” is ever present.
Paul has a similar feeling in our focal passage, although he says it more like, “It’s not fair to expect of others what you cannot do yourself.” Paul calls out the Jews, who claim to possess a special status by virtue of the covenant.
Paul takes up two issues that pointed to the Jews’ special status: the law and circumcision.
First, he reminds them of their claims to be superior and then he rhetorically asks them about their own adherence to the law.
He also points out to them that keeping the law in one area (circumcision) while failing in others is insufficient. Since no one can keep the law perfectly, everyone needs a Savior.
True followers of God are marked by a heart that is changed by the Holy Spirit and dedicated to Him.