Jews and the law.
“You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law?” Romans 2:23, NIV. While the Gentiles had an implicit knowledge about God, the Jews had a direct revelation. Because they received the oracles of God, Jews bragged about the self-perceived advantage. The Jews had the temple; they had the law, which they obeyed. Therefore, they assumed they are better than anyone else in the world. However, following the letter of the law is of no value if one ignores the spirit of the law.
Paul reminds the Jews that by their bragging about what they have, they blasphemed Gods name among the Gentiles. The Jews portrayed God to be unfair by claiming that He favors them because they are the chosen ones. The Jewish Christians insisted that the Gentile Christians must practice the requirements of the Mosaic law. Paul reminded them that, “A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God.” Romans 2:28, 29, NIV. Doing the best deeds possible does not lead to justification and salvation. The obedience to the law could not justify anyone because the law was neither designed nor given for such a purpose. (Galatians 3:20) The good deeds and the ethical behavior are the natural consequence of justification by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. Concerning our salvation, the best of the best is not good enough; and it could never be. God does not want us to do good works; He wants us to do the righteous works. “Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he