Devotional thoughts on Romans 2:17-29
By Thilini Cate
For Christmas my husband and I bought our 6-year-old son a new video game console. We decided that we would get it for him on the condition that it would be merged with his other activities—swimming, Legos, reading books, etc. However we soon found that he became so engrained in games that he would become aggravated when asked to pause. In a sense, he felt entitled to the privilege. We quickly decided that this necessitated a break from the gaming system until he changed his perspective.
Who’s in Authority?
The same was true for the first century Jews. God had blessed Israel as being his chosen people, but they corrupted it with an attitude of entitlement. In Genesis we see God existentially creating a people group through Hebrew nomads Abraham and Sarah, making him the “father of many nations” (Genesis 17:4). Then in Exodus, we find God saving these people, establishing a nation, and preserving himself as sole authority, while non-Jews established human-ordained governments.
In Romans 2 Paul addressed the attitude that Jews had formed over time. Their separation from Gentiles through circumcision, the covenant under Mosaic Law, led to a superiority complex. Even as they became brothers and sisters in Christ, they still considered themselves higher than they ought (Romans 12:3)—the Jews felt they were the elite Christians over and against their Gentile counterparts. Paul understood that through Jesus circumcision is by faith, inwardly, where the outward sign is no longer important.
Crosses and Tweets
Similarly, we as believers must constantly behave in winsome ways to those without Christ, even to those who converted later in life. Attending a service, particularly in a large church, you will find a variety of believers. Some look like you, while others will not. Wearing a cross around our necks or tweeting Scripture is intended to indicate our faith. However, our faith must not only be shown outwardly. Let’s not develop an attitude of Christian entitlement or think ourselves special for accepting salvation, but instead through gratitude share it. We are not owners, but beneficiaries of God’s merciful grace.
Thilini loves traveling the world with her husband, Chris, and curious son, Isaiah. She writes for Vanderbloemen Search Group while pursuing a Doctor of Educational Leadership at Oral Roberts University.