But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”Romans 2:17-24
Although everyone is accountable to God, the Jewish people had a great advantage in that God spoke directly to them by providing His law as a guide for living a life that can honor Him.
But how did they live up to those expectations? Instead of being a faithful “guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness”, the Jewish people failed to follow through by living out their faith. They taught others, but lived a life of hypocrisy.
How many times have today’s Christians had a similar effect on society? How many people do you know today who point to the failure of Christian leaders as a reason for their unbelief?
Paul is critical of religious people here who claimed to have it all together as he continues to point to our need for a Savior, but there is also a lesson for us today. As Christians, we claim to be able to point to the Truth, but how often do our actions limit the effectiveness of our words?