Has there ever been a someone in your life who turns you off something because of the way that they do it?
Have you ever thought about how that person sees how you react to them? How often do we think about our impact on others by the way we choose to honor God? Are we actually honoring God?
It’s important to know this, because how we honor God reflects whether our lives are with God or not.
In Romans 2:17-29 Paul is trying to show something to the church. He needs them to know that although they might know a lot about God, his laws and believe that they are living lives that honor God, they are in fact causing the Gentiles to blaspheme about God, to dishonor God.
He shows them that life with God isn’t about the things you do, although it is core to a life with God but the heart in which you do it. And he finishes by showing them that that is not something that they can do by themselves, that it is God who does this work in them and following and obey God is a response to that work.
When we desire to be a part of God’s people, when we seek God here in this church, when we give up our lives to God, it is not the objective following of religion but the heart and it is from God. Yet it is in Jesus that we see the Holy Spirit work in us. When we look at Jesus we understand the sacrifice made for us so that we might have a loving, caring relationship with God, and that reflects itself in wanting to honour God, to live a life which he praises us for living.
So to live a life for God we need to look at Jesus and be convicted everyday of the love he gave to us when he died for us. To remember the height and breadth of our rebellion against God and know that it is only in Jesus, being like Jesus, living for Jesus in which we will know what it means to have the Spirit circumcising us from the world for God.
“20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Believing in Jesus means becoming like Jesus and that is how you have circumcision of the heart. You have a new life in Christ and that includes a new heart in Christ too.
Paul confronted the Romans and so speaks to us:
- Are they living a God honouring life? Are we doing that?
- Is it the big ticket items that matter to them or following the law? Living a religious life, or a for God life? Are we using the big ticket items of Christianity to say that we are God’s people, baptism, bible study, Sunday service, serving in ministry?
- Are they living their Christian lives for the praise of others, or for the praise of God? What about us?
We need to be living a life for the praise of God. Remembering that it isn’t the big Christian signs which make us a Christian but a life circumcised by the Spirit. We need to be living a life in which others praise and honour God, and to do this we need to look, and trust in Jesus.