A final thought on our tenth study in Romans 2:17–29 (September 6, 2015) entitled, “Resting in Rite Righteousness.”
One of the applications I really wanted to hammer home was about pride. I mentioned that in verses 17–20 Paul listed off six boasts the unbelieving Jews had. Then I applied this to us. As a pastor of a Reformed church, I particularly am sensitive to how we as Reformed Christians can be prideful.
And so just as Israel boasted about being called by the name of Jew (v. 17), so too we boast about being called by the name of “Calvinist” or “Reformed,” as if having a name badge will get us special back stage access to God! Just as Israel boasted in their reliance on the law (v. 17), so too we rely on our tradition, our Confessions, our Church Order, and our liturgy. Just as Israel boasted in God (v. 17), so too we boast that we know God best of all Christians because we’ve read a ton of theology. Just as Israel boasted in knowing the will of God (v. 18), so too we boast about knowing his will because we have the most consistent theology on the market! Just as Israel boasted that they were able to and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law (v. 18), so too we boast because we have been instructed from the venerable Heidelberg Catechism! Just as Israel boasted of being able to teach others all these wonderful privileges as a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, and a teacher of children (vv. 19–20), so too we boast of being a guide to the theologically blind, a light to those who are in ecclesiastical darkness, an instructor of the biblically foolish, a teacher of those who are spiritually children!
Pride is sin, brothers and sisters. And if our Reformed theology is true, then it should make us the most humble people on the face of the planet! And in being humble, we will have more opportunities to share this life-changing news to the desperate and dying world.
God grant us such humility!