Useful Bible Studies > Romans Commentary > chapter 2

Real religion is in the heart

Romans 2:28-29

You might convince everyone that you are a Christian. However, God knows the truth about you. Your actions in front of other people might impress those people, but you cannot impress God by that means. God sees what other people cannot see. He knows what is in your heart (in other words, your true attitudes). Therefore, God knows whether you truly have a relationship with him, or not (Matthew 6:1-18).

Those Christians who were Jews understood that lesson very well. The Jews are the people who come from the family of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Their nation, called Israel, has a special relationship with God. However, they do not all have a personal relationship with God.

Clearly, a Jew who refuses to obey God does not have a right relationship with God. That is so even if that Jew chooses to accept all the ceremonies of his religion. Those ceremonies have not given him a right relationship with God. The ceremonies were correct; the problem is in the personís heart, and nobody except God sees that (Deuteronomy 10:16; Jeremiah 4:4).

We might want other people to approve of our religion. Of course other Christians can and should encourage us to do the right things. However, real religion is in the heart, and other people cannot see it. They cannot know whether we truly love God. They do not hear our private prayers; they do not know the difficult decisions that we make for God in private. They cannot know that we are trusting Christ in each situation. It is God alone who knows and approves of these things.

Next part: Why God gave the Bible firstly to the Jews (Romans 3:1-2)


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© 2018, Keith Simons.