Paul tells Jewish Christians that if they think that they are righteous by the Law, they must follow the Law, otherwise the gain they boast in is actually judgment against them.
This is not just a litany of prohibited acts, either. The Law must penetrate into the hearts of those who profess it, as well, and it is precisely this circumcision of the heart that Christians are bound to through Baptism.
For those who do not follow the Law they claim to be heirs of, their circumcision becomes uncircumcision, and it is because of such people that the name of God is blasphemed. Those who loudly condemn certain acts and then commit the same acts cause others to see the faith as a trivial thing and invite such blasphemy. This, however, does not mean that Jewish Christianity is without merits.
Paul tells us that there are some who claim that Christians desire evil so that good may come. This philosophy is condemned, as when we sin, we sin against God and God alone, and all sin offends God. Likewise, we cannot do good works to compensate for our sinfulness, but neither can we deny the fact that God has given us the ability to do good works as a way to lead us back to Him, and we cannot abandon our obligation to do His will.
The closing theme is Gerard Satamian's Chansons Sans Paroles Op. 2 Pastorale, from the album Dry Fig Trees. www.magnatune.com
Direct download: Romans02b.mp3
-- posted at: 10:53am EST