God's Name is Blasphemed—Romans 2:17-24
"Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and brag about your relationship to God; if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? As it is written: "God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you" (Romans 2:17-24)
Having the Law brings superior knowledge, but it also brings accountability. What could be omitted by ignorance, cannot by awareness. The Jews were priding themselves in observing on the Law, trusting that they were good enough by being careful to do everything it instructed.
The same laws the Jews are claiming to have kept, are the laws, they had repeatedly broken.
However, here’s a shocking revelation by Paul—the same laws the Jews are claiming to have kept, are the laws, they had repeatedly broken. The book of James says "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it" (James 2:10).
The Jews had a form of godliness but they were sinners just like Gentiles. They boasted in their holiness but this was hypocritical to how they actually lived. Because of it, it caused others to blaspheme God.
The same thing happens today. When we rely on what we can do for God, being careful to live by a certain standard, it is easy to become so legalistic, judgmental and self-righteous that it pushes people away from God instead of drawing them to Him. It is sad when we take something as perfect as God's kindness toward us and refuse it. Choosing to live by a set of rules, and boasting in our own righteousness.
Today, take a moment to search yourself to see if there are areas where your behavior is causing others to profane God. Ask Him to help you live in a way that will draw others to Him.
Original article published June 11, 2009.