In this passage, Paul is speaking to hypocritical Jews. These Jews knew the Law, taught others the Law, but did not in themselves live according to the Law. Paul makes it clear that just because they were born a Jew does not mean they are in right relationship with God. He says in verse 29, “A true Jew is one whose heart is right with God.”
I think this should cause us to pause and spend some time self-reflecting. If you are like me, I came into a relationship with Jesus when I was 7. That was 18 years ago (I feel old). I have learned a lot in that amount of time. I have taught many students about what it means to follow Jesus. But I want to stop and ask the question: Are there things I am telling others to do that are important but not currently doing in my own walk with God?
For instance, a few years ago when I was an intern at a church, I had the opportunity to speak to students on a Wednesday night about fasting. I was so excited when I found out I was getting to do this. There was just one problem: I hadn’t fasted in years. I knew what God’s Word had to say about fasting, I knew I could teach students how to fast from God’s Word, but the issue was that I had not been practicing this spiritual discipline. And I felt such conviction that I fasted a few times before I taught on this topic.
The question that circled my mind, “How can I expect others to do this if I first am not doing it?”
As godly leaders, teachers, and disciplers, do we live in accordance with the standard we are teaching others?
Are there areas in our life where we are being hypocritical?
Written By: Brice Stockton
Thanks Brice! God spoke to me (or rather, has been speaking to me) through vs 29, especially the end of the verse… a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God rather than people. I know I say this to others, but am I really practicing this in my walk? God, help us to desire only to seek praise from you, not man.
Vs. 29 “No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise[c] from God, not from people.”