It is evident that the apostle here turned to the Jew, though he did not immediately name him. He charged the Jew with the sin of practicing the very evils he condemned in the Gentiles. He is at least as great a failure as the Gentile in the matter of actual righteousness. Godliness, as privileged relationship, is of no value except as it produces actual righteousness.
In verses Romans 2:21-23 the apostle declared the ethical failure of the Jew. This he did by asking a series of questions, every one inferentially charging these people with actual failure in conduct in the very matters which are regulated by the law for which they stand and which they profess to teach.
On the basis of the previous argument the apostle now charged the Jew with what is his principal and most terrible sin. He had become a blasphemer of the name of God among the Gentiles. If the Gentiles had imperfect light, they ought to have received the more perfect light from the people, who, on their own showing, took the place of guide, and light, and corrector, and teacher. But because in the actualities of their outward conduct they had been committing the same sins that their law condemned, the Gentiles had seen no reason to believe, through their testimony, in the one living God, to whom the Jews professed to be related. His name, therefore, had been blasphemed among them by Jewish failure.
Then follow the apostle's conclusive declarations concerning Israel. The bestowed privileges are all valueless. Thus again is the doctrine of justification by faith which does not issue in works declared to be false. The principles underlying this passage are of permanent value and of searching power.
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34