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c) Man is saved not by knowledge, but by works
(Romans 2:17-24)
17Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God,18and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law,19and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness,20an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law.21You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal?22You who say, "Do not commit adultery," do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?23You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law?24For "The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you," as it is written.

God entrusted the descendants of Abraham with the privilege of the holy Law, which testifies the greatness and holy glory of God. The Jews recognized the value of the Law. They relied on it, and were puffed up mightily by this privilege, and thought this enough to bring them to heaven, while the Law, in fact, was a reason for wrath and condemnation because of the way they acted.
Paul numbered the good and bad qualities, which characterized the Jews. The divine revelation gave the people of the wilderness tranquility, confidence, and pride, because they knew God and his will. They recognized the best way in life, and became in the past the teachers of the peoples, and the light of the nations.
On the other hand, Paul confirmed to them that the Law has no power to reform men. It is true that through it, the Jews knew what they were obliged to do, but they did not fulfill their obligations. They knew the mysteries of God, but they did not walk in them. Many of them arrived at a high stage of formal legalistic piety with iron determination. However, the will of God was not outpoured in their hearts.
Maybe they did not practically steal, but their eyes were blinded with covetousness. Maybe they did not commit adultery in common, but their hearts overflowed with unclean thoughts. They transgressed the Law of God thousands of times. In addition, Paul experienced the lack of love even in the life of the believers. They dishonored God by their sins, and caused the other nations to blaspheme against his holy name.
Paul was a Christian of Jewish origin and wrote down, apart from the delusions of grandeur, all the excellent properties of his people. Because of this statement, he had the right and the power to uncover the sins and scandals of his nation; that nothing remained of its righteousness compared with its great offences and aggravating faults. There is no complaint more burdensome against any people or nation than to say that the name of God is blasphemed because of their conduct. They did not respond to their original call to enlighten the peoples with the Law, but did the reverse. If only we could find nowadays a courageous witness like Paul, who does not deny our privileges, but removes the mask of piety from the face of our corrupt society that nothing might remain except repentance and brokenness.
Do you condemn the people of Abraham? Beware! They are sinful like you.
God said clearly: “Be holy, for I am holy”. Are you really a holy and perfect Christian, as your heavenly Father is? Does your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven, because of the apparent change in your life? Do your friends despise your religion, because you are no better than those who deny the redemption of Christ? Are you a reason for blasphemy against the name of God? Can our heavenly Father reveal himself through your love and humility?

O holy and great God, my sin is greater than I know. In my disobedience and hypocrisy, I became a reason for blasphemy of many. Forgive me when someone blasphemes against your holy name, because I did not walk perfectly before you. Forgive me my incomplete love, purity, and patience. You created me in your image that the others might see you in me; so help me to obey your commands and follow your example that your image may shine brighter and brighter in me. Save me from my weakness, my faults, and myself.
What are the privileges of the Law and its burdens on the Jews?