What do you think of when I say (or rather type) the word “Jew”? Probably what all the rest of us think; a Jewish person, an Israeli, someone who doesn’t eat pork (just like we all shouldn’t).
That is a correct answer…but there is a little more to it. The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans chapter 2 what a Jew thinks himself to be. Beginning in verse 17 he says a Jew thinks himself to be a person who rests in the law of God and boasts about being chosen, a child of Abraham, circumcised on the eighth day, etc. He knows more excellent things, being taught from the law of God (V.18). He believes himself to be a guide to others who do not have the law (V.19). Having the law of God, he believes himself to be an instructor of the foolish and a guide to babes (V.20). Then Paul goes on to chastise him because, though he has the law and knows it, he does not obey it (V.21-23). In fact, he says prior to these verses in verse 13, For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. That should sound familiar because James tells us basically the same thing in James 1:22, But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
After all that, Paul explains what a real Jew is by explaining what a real Jew is NOT. Romans 2:28, For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: In other words, outward appearance and Levitical circumcision has nothing to do with being a real Jew. Paul is saying you can be circumcised, you can have olive skin, you can wear a Tallit, you can be born and bred in Israel and even all that does not make you a Jew. He continues…
Romans 2:29, But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. It is what is in the heart that makes a real Jew; one who strives to obey God out of his love for Him. What is this “circumcision of the heart”? Colossians 2:11, In whom (Jesus) also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
It is the circumcision made WITHOUT HANDS, in other words, not physical circumcision in the flesh according to the law of Moses, but spiritual circumcision of the heart according to the grace of God through Jesus Christ.
So does that make you and me (I’m talking about believers here) a Jew? No. We are still Gentiles, BUT (Just as I wrote yesterday) we have been adopted into the family of God. We are not Jews, but through Christ we have been given all the rights and privileges of the chosen family of God! Hallelujah!
Galatians 3:13-14, Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:(WHY) That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Happy High Holy Days! What does God have for you…just around the corner?