“A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly…” Romans 2: 28
In the book of Romans, Paul is destroying the myth held by his contemporary Jews. Many Jews thought they owed their Jewishness to the circumcision. But Paul is pointing out that it is only an outward sign. Only if they lived a life prescribed by the law inwardly they can claim to be a Jew.
Paul is pointing to them the flaws of their lives.
They judge others but they do the same things (v.1). This shows their hypocrisy. They did not bother to retrospect on their own action. They were quick to condemn others while doing the same things.
Though they have the law, they fail to follow it diligently. They delude themselves into thinking that hearing the law would make them righteous. Paul is telling it is not one who hears the law but the one who obeys the law would be righteous (v.13).
These words are apt for our Christian lives.
If we claim to be a Christian because of our birth in a Christian family, baptism, confirmation, regular church attendance, contributions etc, we would be fooling ourselves.
Outward things might make people of this world to say that we are Christians, because people can see only the outward things. But God sees our heart. If we want to receive a citation from God we should develop inner habits also.
We should practice Christianity meaningfully. We should understand that it is not the outward signs which make us Christians but the inner attitude and the consistent behaviour.
This calls for constant retrospection of our attitude and actions in the light of the Word of God.