25 The Jewish ceremony of circumcision has value only if you obey God’s law. But if you don’t obey God’s law, you are no better off than an uncircumcised Gentile.26 And if the Gentiles obey God’s law, won’t God declare them to be his own people?27 In fact, uncircumcised Gentiles who keep God’s law will condemn you Jews who are circumcised and possess God’s law but don’t obey it.
28 For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the ceremony of circumcision.29 No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise[a] from God, not from people.
God Remains Faithful
3 Then what’s the advantage of being a Jew? Is there any value in the ceremony of circumcision?2 Yes, there are great benefits! First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the whole revelation of God.[b]
3 True, some of them were unfaithful; but just because they were unfaithful, does that mean God will be unfaithful?4 Of course not! Even if everyone else is a liar, God is true. As the Scriptures say about him,
“You will be proved right in what you say, and you will win your case in court.”[c]
5 “But,” some might say, “our sinfulness serves a good purpose, for it helps people see how righteous God is. Isn’t it unfair, then, for him to punish us?” (This is merely a human point of view.)6 Of course not! If God were not entirely fair, how would he be qualified to judge the world?7 “But,” someone might still argue, “how can God condemn me as a sinner if my dishonesty highlights his truthfulness and brings him more glory?”8 And some people even slander us by claiming that we say, “The more we sin, the better it is!” Those who say such things deserve to be condemned.
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