Romans 2:25 - 3:8
Romans is such an essential study. Paul takes a swat at some human logic in order to help us understand how God has and does operate. There were Jews who wanted new Christian converts to be circumcised so it is not strange here that Paul introduces an elevated form of circumcision. Paul proclaims that to be under the Law having circumcision and not being observant was as unrighteous as being under grace with faith being circumcised in the heart WAS righteous. In other words, physical circumcision means nothing if we are not living as though we are circumcised of heart. What a concept showing the shift from physical identity to "spiritual" identity! Paul also gives the rational for how Christ refined the covenant spectrum of Jews vs Gentile to Believer vs non-Believer. This is how the grafting is done. Israel as the Chosen nation was an eternal covenant so the defining shift to Believer vs non-Believer IS still essentially Jew vs Gentile. A Gentile Believer is merely grafted into the Chosen Covenant tree to be considered a Jew by faith! This is how God gives ALL humanity an equal opportunity to be saved. Again physical identity means nothing in the face of spiritual identity. Finally I love Paul's treatment of "human rationalization". I call it whacky logic - when I sin it shows the glory of God even more. Such satanic logic makes a mockery of obedience as the ultimate test of love! What Paul is doing is showing how the shift from the Law to the Gospel is a shift from the physical to the spiritual! We are not destroying the meaning of the terms under the Law, we are elevating their meaning by example like Jesus said that it has been said that you commit adultery by acting with another outside of your marriage covenant, but I say to "look* lustfully upon another outside of your marriage covenant is adultery committed already in your mind. This is also the physical elevated to the spiritual. Paul is doing nothing that Jesus hadn't already done! Praise Him.