Romans 2:12–29 (ESV)
God’s Judgment and the Law
12 For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For
it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves,
even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on
that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.
17 But if you call yourself a Jew
and rely on the law and boast in God 18 and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; 19 and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the
blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you then who teach others,
do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You
who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. 24 For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”
25 For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. 26 So, if a man who
is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 27 Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision
but break the law. 28 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the
Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.
Paul warns against being praised by people but not by God (v 29). Pride desires recognition and praise from
the world, but this may come in ways that are inconsistent with God’s will. Our priorities are misplaced when we seek the world’s acclaim. We are blessed when we place God first, knowing He loves and forgives us. He approves of us because of Jesus.
That’s all the praise we will ever need.
I pray: Heavenly Father, in faith I do not seek the praise of the world, but I rejoice in Your gifts. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible
(St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1913.