Obedience Is Not Skin Deep

September 30th, 2018

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Romans 2:17-29

Think of deep things: the Grand Canyon, the Marianas Trench. Think about how deep a single layer of skin is, and you can probably appreciate the irony of the term “skin deep.” Not very deep at all, is it?

Paul is discussing in the second half of Romans 2 the people who think they are doing well simply because they come from the correct lineage. They are Jews. They are circumcised. They have been given the law. Paul is not impressed. And being of the correct lineage himself, Paul would be able to speak with authority on this subject.

Despite having clear advantages afforded them, these Jews are missing one key element: obedience. Paul argues that Jewishness does not come from any of these external things. These are merely skin deep Jewishness. Instead, circumcision is a heart-level commitment to following God’s laws.

Now think about those deep things again. Heart-deep seems a lot deeper than skin deep, doesn’t it? That’s the depth of true obedience.

Author: Amy Rice


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