Unlimited: The Law You Preach is the Law You Break
Aug 12, 2022 239
You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you” (Rom. 2:21b–24.)
There are three commandments from the law, which Paul cites here: the commandment against stealing, committing adultery, and the worship of idols. Each of these is from the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20. This points to the importance that the Jewish people gave to the Ten Commandments at the time.
At an external level, Paul emphasises the truth that those who preach the law know they themselves are lawbreakers.
The law is deep and spiritual and that its obedience consists not alone in the “letter of the law” but in the spirit.
However, in this context, we should also remember the teaching of Jesus that the law is deep and spiritual and that its obedience consists not alone in the “letter of the law” but in the spirit. He taught that to be angry with another or to call them a fool is to be guilty of murder, and whoever looks at another lustfully has committed adultery (Matt. 5:21–30.)
We should be very careful when we hold up a standard before others that we ourselves are living up to it.
If we are to hold up any standard before people, let it be the righteousness of Christ, who is the complete will of God in the flesh. And then let us also hold up the means by which that righteousness becomes ours: credited to our account through the grace of God when we trust in Jesus.
Paul writes that,
God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.
Reflect on how Christians are viewed by mainstream society. To what extent are Paul’s words right?