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24 March 2011

Romans 2 - A Paraphrase

I hope you'll forgive me for parphrasing some Scripture here (from the NLT, at that). I was reading Romans 2 yesterday and found that it really jumped out at me when I changed a few words to put it into a modern perspective. This is the second half of the chapter (Romans 2:17-29). There will be some places that are not an exact fit, and you may scratch your head and say, "Wait, that's not quite right." You're probably correct. Don't let that derail your thought processes; I'm not trying to give new theology here, just to give a fresh perspective.

You who call yourselves Christians are relying on God’s law, and you boast about your special relationship with him. You know what he wants; you know what is right because you have been taught his law. You are convinced that you are a guide for the blind and a light for people who are lost in darkness. You think you can instruct the ignorant and teach children the ways of God. For you are certain that Christianity gives you complete knowledge and truth.

Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you do personal things on company time? You say homosexuality and infidelity are wrong, but do you look at porn on the internet? You condemn dishonesty, but do you use illegally-downloaded software or music? You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it. No wonder the Scriptures say, “Non-Christians blaspheme the name of God because of you.”

The Christian ordinance of baptism has value only if you obey God’s law. But if you don’t obey God’s law, you are no better off than an “unchurched” person who hasn’t been baptized. And if “unchurched” people obey God’s law, won’t God declare them to be his own people? In fact, people who don’t “go to church” but keep God’s law will condemn you “church people” who are baptized and possess God’s law but don’t obey it.

For you are not a true Christian just because you were born of Christian parents or because you have been baptized. No, a true Christian is one whose heart is right with God. And true baptism is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by God’s Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.

Romans 2:17-29, paraphrased from NLT

2 comments:

Chris Rigoni said...

Very interesting stuff. Of course, as you mentioned this is a paraphrase of a paraphrase. :) There are scriptures and themes throughout to validate your "paraphrasing," and all-in-all I agree with what you said. I often find it rather silly that translations, theoretical theology, and such are debated so often, when in the end, the Truth is the Truth. My dad used to always tell me, "The truth is in no way altered by what you may believe." I've kept that with me my whole life.

Dean Lusk said...

I've got to say, that's one of the best statements of its kind that I've ever read.

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