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March 4 - Obeying the Law Requires a Circumcised Heart (Romans 2:17-29)

Prepare for Sunday morning worship using the guide below.

Adult Education

Brandon Jordan will continue his class on the doctrine of vocation at 10:00am in the youth room. This is a 10 week study discussing the doctrine of vocation and in particular how it deals with the gospel in our "workplaces." Are all jobs the same (sacred and secular)? What does our work ethic/interaction with coworkers reveal about our view of the gospel? We will also have some of our own members here speak about their work and how the gospel is applied. Over 10 weeks we hope to answer these and a few more questions that will allow us to find greater purpose in what we do day to day. 

Bryan Launer will continue his class on Understanding the Heart in Adult 1 at 10:00am. This class explores what Scripture says about the heart, why it's so important, and how you can better understand your own heart and help others. The first four weeks will be identical to his class in the Fall, but the second half will include a case study on anxiety. 

Romans 2:17-29

17 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God 18 and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law;19 and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. 24 For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

25 For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. 26 So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 27 Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law.28 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.

Sermon Summary

In Romans 2:17-29, Paul argues that Jews have a false confidence in the Law to spare them from God’s judgment—for they violate the very precepts they teach to others. Thus, they too are under condemnation. What they, and all humanity, need is a Spirit-circumcised heart, which comes through faith in Jesus Christ, delivering them from judgement and enabling them to obey.

Review and Apply

  1. What/who do you rely on to spare you from the day of judgment?
  2. Are there areas in your life that contradict the biblical standards you claim to uphold, thus bringing disrepute to your Christian witness?
  3. According to the text, who is a true Jew?
  4. Who enables us to obey?
  5. What is the relationship between faith and obedience?
  6. What are some of the Old Testament verses that look forward to the time when God’s people would be enabled to obey God?
  7. Is there such a thing as a Christian who lives in perpetual disobedience? That is, he shows no evidence of a heart circumcised by the Holy Spirit?
  8. How should we counsel a person who lives in perpetual disobedience, i.e., shows no evidence of a Spirit-circumcised heart?