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2:17 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God
2:18 and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law;
2:19 and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness,
2:20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth--
2:21 you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal?
2:22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?
2:23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law.
2:24 For, as it is written, "The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."
2:25 For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision.
2:26 So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision?
2:27 Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law.
2:28 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical.
2:29 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.
3:1 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision?
3:2 Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.
3:3 What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God?
3:4 By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, "That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged."
3:5 But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.)
3:6 By no means! For then how could God judge the world?
3:7 But if through my lie God's truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner?
3:8 And why not do evil that good may come?--as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.
ESV text used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.