Romans 2:27 MEANING

Romans 2:27
(27) Judge thee.--Comp. Matthew 12:41-42, "The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it," et seq. The idea is that of "putting to shame by contrast."

By the letter.--The preposition here marks the condition or circumstance under which the action is done, and might be paraphrased, "with all the advantages of the written Law and of circumcision."

Here, again, the sentence may not be a question, but an affirmation.

Verses 27-29. - And shall not the uncircumcision which is by nature (i.e. men in a state of nature, Without any distinct revelation, or sign of a peculiar covenant) judge thee (thou presumest, in virtue of thy position, to judge them; nay, rather, they shall judge thee), who by (rather, with, i.e. though in possession of) the letter and circumcision dost transgress the Law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, not in the letter (or, in spirit, not in letter. Both the nouns, πνεύματι, and γράμματι, here are without the article, so as to bring out their inherent significance. See above as to ὁ νόμος and νόμος). Whose praise is not of men, but of God. In these two concluding verses we observe the double sense in which the term Ἰουδαῖος may be used. It denotes here one possessed of the true spirit of Judaism; in which sense the Gentile might be the better Jew. In a like double sense we may use the word "Christian" (cf. John 1:47, ἀληθῶς Ἰσραηλίτης; John 8:39, "If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham;" also ch. 4. and Galatians 3:7). So, too, περιτομή for spiritual circumcision (περιτομὴ ἀχειροτοίητος Colossians 2:11), in the sense of inward dedication to God's service, and "putting off the body of the sins of the flesh" (Colossians 2:11; see also Philippians 3:2, 3). Such ethical significance of the rite appears even in the Old Testament. We read there of "uncircumcised lips" (Exodus 6:12, 30), or "ears" (Jeremiah 6:10), or "hearts" (Leviticus 26:41); and in Deuteronomy 30:6 we find the significant words." The LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live;" and in Jeremiah 4:4, "Circumcise yourselves to the Loan, and take away the foreskins of your hearts, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem." (Cf. Isaiah 3:1, "Put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.")

2:25-29 No forms, ordinances, or notions can profit, without regenerating grace, which will always lead to seeking an interest in the righteousness of God by faith. For he is no more a Christian now, than he was really a Jew of old, who is only one outwardly: neither is that baptism, which is outward in the flesh: but he is the real Christian, who is inwardly a true believer, with an obedient faith. And the true baptism is that of the heart, by the washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Ghost; bringing a spiritual frame of mind, and a willing following of truth in its holy ways. Let us pray that we may be made real Christians, not outwardly, but inwardly; in the heart and spirit, not in the letter; baptized, not with water only, but with the Holy Ghost; and let our praise be, not of men, but of God.And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature,.... That is, the Gentiles, who are by nature uncircumcised; for as circumcision was by the command of God, and performed by the art of men, uncircumcision is by nature, and what men naturally have. Now

if it, such persons,

fulfil the law in Christ, they will

judge thee, the circumcision: and condemn, as Noah condemned the old world, Hebrews 11:7, and the men of Nineveh and the queen of the south will condemn the men of that generation, in which Christ lived, Matthew 12:41.

Who by the letter and circumcision transgress the law; that is, either by the law, which is "the letter", and "by circumcision", or "by circumcision which is in the letter", Romans 2:29, sin being increased by the prohibitions of the moral law, and the rituals of the ceremonial law, and the more so by a dependence upon an obedience to either of them, or both, for justification.

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