The identifying mark of Judaism was and is circumcision. Yet, in Romans Paul convinces the faithful that their circumcision had in fact become uncircumcision. In Romans 2 Paul begins a tirade about the Jewishness of their one “claim to fame” that was NOT an act of faith on their part but was that that was done in acting upon them, circumcision!!
When was Abraham chosen, before or after circumcision? You must answer, BEFORE. Why? Answer, his work of faith. He did what he was commanded BEFORE circumcision. “For circumcision profits IF thou keepest the Law, but if you break the Law your circumcision is made uncircumcision.” Here, Paul speaks of two uncircumcisions. There is a natural law and there is a written law AND there is a law between the two, the law of works. “For when the Gentiles, which have not the Law.” What Law? The written one. “Do by nature the things of the Law.” Of what law? Of that by actions. For that which is by writing lies outside, but this is within, the natural one, and the other is in action. Of this third, there is need and for its sake the other two exist, both the natural and the written. If the work prompted by the heart does not produce fruit, that which came not by choice (the physical circumcision before accountability) has no value for its possessor. What advantage hath the Jew?
He who had the written law did not those things (works, produce actions prompted because of it) from the heart, the physical identity was NEVER acceptable to God!! There are two circumcisions, one of nature, and the second, THE HEART. For either of these to benefit, there must be a third—the circumcision of will. I mean for instance, a man has been circumcised upon the eighth day, this is circumcision of the flesh, a man has done all the Law bids him, this is a circumcision of the mind which Paul requires, but above all, or another Law Paul says there is a third “Circumcision profits, IF you keep the Law. Circumcision is profitable only WHEN the heart has been circumcised.
“But, if you break the Law, your circumcision is made uncircumcision.” This is no insult to circumcision but to him who through listlessness has lost the good of it through lack of obedience to what had been written down, “when the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the Law, uncircumcision is made circumcision.” Of what can the Jew brag? Paul is not rejecting the Law, but justifying the Gentile. Romans 2:14 What is nature? It is the “conscience of reasoning which came by nature.” Romans 2:15, Paul is showing the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another.” When the Gentile, which had not the Law, did by nature the things contained in the Law,” they were much better than those who were instructed by the Law. Conscience and reason took the place of the Law, so of what had the Jew to gloat? For before the scheme of Providence was delivered, Paul shows even in these former times man fully enjoyed God’s providence. Preaching before the Law anticipated what the Law enumerated. Of what can the Jew glory?
So what profit had the Jew? If anyone has sense and reason, he has already endured a hell when he is out of sight (fellowship) with God when he has offended God. Since we have not loved Christ as we should, we who have wronged Him and turned from Him when He is calling and drawing us to Him, no wonder “He will spew us out of His mouth.” How could one ever expect when Christ cries aloud through His apostles, threatening hell, and promising an eternal kingdom to draw man that rejects His Word? “What have we in heaven, and what is there upon earth, that we should desire in comparison to Christ?” Psalms 73:25 For God had one Son, the Only-Begotten, and He spared not even Him for us and we value many things above Him. What happened to the good reason and conscience?