Study of Romans, Chapter 2, Sin And Judgment

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judgment

We are held accountable for everything that we do in life, whether we realize it or not.  It may not be a conscious accountability, but nonetheless, we are liable for our words and actions.  We all commit sin, and it is up to us how our sin is handled.  Will it be forgiven?  Or will God be making a judgment against it?  It’s your call.

Romans 2:1Romans 2:1
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

2 1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.  

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1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest:  for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

Paul utilizes a literary tool, the diatribe, to make his point by delivering bold statements to an imaginary pupil, or rival.  The point made in this verse is quite clear:  those who pass judgment on others are actually condemning him/herself as well.  This is where many Christians get misled.  Many of us are raised to believe that we should never point out, or judge, others when we see something that they are doing that we know is morally wrong based on scripture.  But, scripture also instructs us to discern harmful behaviors.

Matthew 18:15-17Matthew 18:15-17
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.  

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15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone:  if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church:  but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

James 5:19-20James 5:19-20
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19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; 20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.  

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19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;

20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

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The problem is not so much with judging, or evaluating, others, but the danger that ensues when we are being hypocritical in our evaluation.  We should be very careful when we find ourselves becoming angry over someone else’s sin and find ourselves justifying our anger.  As a Christian, we are expected to speak out against sin, but we must do it in a spirit of humility.  We must search our own heart to be sure that we aren’t committing the very same sin that we have become angry about in another.  Not all people commit the same sin as others, but we are all sinners by definition.  We are all guilty of judging, or criticizing others for what we feel is wrong.

Romans 2:2Romans 2:2
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.  

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2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.

One thing that we can be sure of and that is that God’s judgment will be based on His truth.  No amount of human opinion or protest can change this.

Romans 2:3Romans 2:3
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3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?  

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3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?

If we make judgment on someone for the very same thing that we are doing, do we think that God will overlook our sin?

Romans 14:10Romans 14:10
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10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  

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But why dost thou judge thy brother?  or why dost thou set at nought thy brother?  for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

Revelation 20:12-13Revelation 20:12-13
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12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. hell: or, the grave  

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12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened:  and another book was opened, which is the book of life:  and the dad were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them:  and they were judged every man according to their works.

We will all come under the judgment of God.  What then, is the best way to go about bringing to light another’s sinful nature?  One, I believe that we should always remain humble.  We should never feel so sure of ourselves that we become arrogant in our attitude.  Secondly, I believe that it is important to always take the situation to God in prayer, asking God to help us and guide us in this difficult time, and search our own hearts for wrongdoing.  Thirdly, we must never forget that we are all sinners.  John 8:7John 8:7
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7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.  

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tells us to be the first one to throw a stone only if we have never committed a sin ourselves.  We must realize that we are not here to judge and condemn others.  That responsibility is not ours, but belongs to God alone and His Day will come soon.  Therefore, if we see a brother/sister doing something that should be addressed, then address it quietly between the two of you.  We must always keep in mind that when we are approached by a fellow Christian that is pointing something out in our behavior, it is only for our benefit.   We must all look out for our brothers/sisters.

Romans 2:4Romans 2:4
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4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?  

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4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

God is so very patient with us, but it should never be confused with His approval of us living a sinful life.  God is gracious and merciful, and wants no one to perish.

2 Peter 3:92 Peter 3:9
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9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  

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The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

God gives us every opportunity to repent of our sins.  When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, our life changes. As we become more knowledgeable in the Word, we see changes occur in our lifestyle.  There may be times that we don’t immediately recognize a sin in our life.  We must pray that God will reveal the sin in us, so that we can ask for forgiveness and He can heal us.

Romans 2:5Romans 2:5
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5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;  

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5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;

When one continues to reject God’s grace, their heart hardens and they begin to build up a bank of wrath themselves.  It is easy for one to prize God’s kindness, tolerance, and patience for themselves, but is less likely to see them extend the same to others.

Romans 2:6-7Romans 2:6-7
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6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:  

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6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

Good doesn't get you into Heaven

God does not necessarily punish us for each sin as we commit it, but there will come a day that we will stand before Him for judgment.  Salvation comes by faith, not by works.  This is not a contradictory verse.  We cannot ‘work‘ our way into heaven, so we cannot be saved by our good deeds.  But, when we are saved, we commit our lives fully to God and therefore, we want to please him and do his will.  Our deeds in life are a direct result of our faith in God.

Ephesians 2:8-9Ephesians 2:8-9
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8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.  

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8 For by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

We must never deceive ourselves into believing that because we are a good person and do good things for others, that this will gain us entry into eternity with God.

Romans 2:8-10Romans 2:8-10
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8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; Gentile: Gr. Greek 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: Gentile: Gr. Greek  

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8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

When we accept Christ as our Savior, we are filled with the Holy Spirit, making us a new creation.

2 Corinthians 5:172 Corinthians 5:17
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17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. he is: or, let him be  

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Therefore if an man be in Christ, he is a new creature:  old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Ephesians 4:22-24Ephesians 4:22-24
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22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. true...: or, holiness of truth  

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22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

As we seek God each day in our new life, our deeds are done to glorify His Holy Name, and we are promised eternal life with Him.  But to those who live in sin and do not choose to obey the truth, they will suffer God’s wrath.

Romans 2:1Romans 2:1
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

2 1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.  

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1-15

11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law:  and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;

13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thought the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

God does not show favoritism in judgment.  We are not condemned for what we have no understanding of, but of what we do with what we are sure of.  We are judged by what we are knowledgeable on.  If we know something to be wrong and we continue to do it over and over again, we will be judged by that measure.  Even those who have never seen or read a Bible know the difference between right and wrong, and God expects them to do right according to their conscious.  Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts,…’   God’s moral law has been written in our heart.  This is what gives us our conscious; our right and wrong.

Romans 2:1Romans 2:1
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

2 1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.  

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16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Only God knows our deepest secrets of our heart.

Luke 16:15Luke 16:15
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15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.  

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And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts:  for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

Acts 10:42Acts 10:42
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42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.  

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And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

John 5:22-30John 5:22-30
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22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: 23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. 30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.  

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22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.  He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall heart the voice of the Son of God:  and they that hear shall live.

26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

28 Marvel not at this:  for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

30 I can of mine own self do nothing:  as I hear, I judge:  and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

Jesus is ordained by God to be the judge of all humanity.  We must witness to all others so that they are aware that forgiveness and salvation are available to anyone who believes in, and calls on the name of Jesus Christ.

Romans 2:1Romans 2:1
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

2 1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.  

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7-20

17 Behold, thou are called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,

18 And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;

19 And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness,

20 An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.

pedestal

Paul points out that the Jews looked upon themselves as something special over the Gentiles.  They believed that God had awarded them special privileges  because they felt they were to teach the Gentiles.  Even though there was truth to this thought, they had placed themselves upon somewhat of a pedestal.

Isaiah 42:6-7Isaiah 42:6-7
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6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; 7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.  

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I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

The religious people believed that they would be accepted by God.  The Jewish people did not see their religious pride.  They were sure because they had received this calling, that they were better as a people.  Even though they had been chosen to to be a light to the Gentiles, they were guilty for refusing to live by that very same light.  Paul is saying that if we refuse to live up to what we know to be the truth, we are no better than the heathen.

Romans 2:2Romans 2:2
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.  

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1-23

21 Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself?  thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?

22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery?  thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?

23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?

This passage clearly shows us that Paul was criticizing hypocrisy.   Why is it that it is easier to tell others how to behave than for us to behave properly ourselves?  How often have you suggested something to someone that you are not willing to do in your own life?  Paul is instructing the Jews that they must teach themselves the law.  They knew it so well, that they had become immune to it and had began to excuse their own sinful actions.  When we allow arrogance to creep into our life, we begin to rationalize our actions and make excuses for our sinful lifestyle.  Before we begin to point out sin in another, we must look deep into our own heart and determine what sin resides there.

dishonour

Romans 2:2Romans 2:2
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2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.  

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24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.

As a Christian, our actions and words reflect what God is like.  If we are disobedient in our actions or words, we are dishonoring God, and setting a bad example for others as a witness, whereas when we are loving, accepting, and forgiving, we are setting an example of God to others that glorifies His Name.  What do people see when they look at your life?  Do they see someone living a godly life that is filled with the Spirit of God?  Back in the day of Isaiah and Jeremiah, the sin of the Jewish people brought dishonor to God among the pagan nations.  They perceived that because the Jews had been defeated in war and exiled that God was powerless because He had not protected them.  The Jews were sinners and in order for God to restore them as a people; a nation, He had to punish them harshly.  We should never allow ourselves to involve ourselves in anything that dishonors God.

Romans 2:2Romans 2:2
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2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.  

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5-29

25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law:  but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.

26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?

27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge the, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?

28 For his is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

In Genesis 17:9-14Genesis 17:9-14
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9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. 10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. 11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. 12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. he that is eight...: Heb. a son of eight days 13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.  

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, circumcision was a sign and seal of a covenant God made with Abraham, which was later made with Israel [Exodus 12:44-49Exodus 12:44-49
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44 But every man's servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof. 45 A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof. 46 In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof. 47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. keep...: Heb. do it 48 And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. 49 One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.  

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].  The Jewish community viewed circumcision a form of identity which brought them a guarantee of salvation.  Today, there are many churches that teach that Baptism guarantees your salvation.  Both circumcision and Baptism without obedience to God is empty, and will not provide you with an eternity with God.  God wants our hearts to be right in our relationship with Him; a circumcision of the heart.

Deuteronomy 30:6Deuteronomy 30:6
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6 And 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.  

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And 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.

Deuteronomy 10:16Deuteronomy 10:16
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16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.  

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Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.

Colossians 2:8-11Colossians 2:8-11
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8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. rudiments: or, elements 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:  

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Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

10 And ye are complete in him which is the head of all principality and power:

11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

Paul was impressing upon the people that a real Jew was one who pleased God, not by circumcision, but by having their heart right with God and was obedient to God.

Written by Mary Hudak-Collins

Mary Hudak-Collins

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