Romans 2:17-29 Part 2 – Labels don’t save you

A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. [29] No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God. Romans 2:28-29 NIV

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The Label.

You can ask people ‘are you a religious?’  They will say “I am a Christian,  Baptist,  Methodist,  Catholic, and so on.”  A second question could be “Do you live by the standards of your religion each day?” (Gulp) This is the truth Paul is making to the Jews about Christianity.  It is not the label and it is not the circumcision (specific rituals) that makes you right with God.  It is the actions of the heart and your relationship with God that makes you a Christian.

Labels identify but can also hide.

This is not an easy truth to take in.  Labels identify us and sometimes we can use them to falsely satisfy our inward fears that we are not right with God.  “But I am a Methodist.  I go to church.  I am part of the worship team.  I give my tithes.”  All of these are good things but they are not the items that determine your right relationship with God.

 

Who are you in your heart?

Who are you in your mind and desires?  Who are you in your spiritual relationships with God?  It is these things that determine who we are in God’s eyes.  Not the outward label.  It is the inner actions and condition of the heart.  What a terrible thought to be standing before God believing on a labeled. Or believing you are  a Christian  because of the outward things you have done.  God looks at you and says “I never knew you”.  Let’s make sure that day will never come.  Seek God daily and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is the actions in our hearts that determine who we are in Christ.

We are Christians only if we are Christians in our hearts.

We can be called a great Christian  and in our hearts hide a deep secrete sin. So let us make sure we have a lightnside that burns to follow Christ.  That burns to  live by the Holy Spirit.  That burns to reflect God in our relationships and at work.  A lightnside that repents when we sin  but  also have faith in the blood of Christ and receive the righteousness of God to cover our sin and wash our hearts.

 

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