Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Praised by the Praiseworthy

For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 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.
Romans 2:28-29 (ESV)

These few sentences are both a rebuke of legalists' futile attempts at self-salvation and also a promise to those who despair that noone recognizes their effort. First, God proclaims that His people are not those who are physically like His people--they are those who love Him with a Spiritual love. The law ("the letter") is not what saves; rather the Spirit of God. But while this is more foundational to Christian faith, it is far less theologically deep than the short last sentence of Romans chapter 2: "His praise is not from man but from God." Listen to that: God's people are praised by God. We not only praise God, He praises us. What an amazing, inconceivable truth! The Majesty of Heaven will call us "good and faithful" (Matt. 25:21, 23). When the world calls us "narrow-minded," "backwards," or "foolish," we can remember that man's praise is as nothing compared to praise from God.

1 comment:

Ben said...

Isn't it amazing that the whenever we do something for God by the will and strength He gave us, He blesses us?
Excellet post, Colin, continue the powerful and thought provoking posts.