17 What about you? You say you are a Jew. You trust in the law and proudly claim to be close to God. 18 You know what God wants you to do. And you know what is important, because you have learned the law. 19 You think you are a guide for people who don’t know the right way, a light for those who are in the dark. 20 You think you can show foolish people what is right. And you think you are a teacher for those who are just beginning to learn. You have the law, and so you think you know everything and have all truth. 21 You teach others, so why don’t you teach yourself? You tell them not to steal, but you yourself steal. 22 You say they must not commit adultery, but you yourself are guilty of that sin. You hate idols, but you steal them from their temples. 23 You are so proud that you have God’s law, but you bring shame to God by breaking his law. 24 As the Scriptures say, “People in other nations insult God because of you.”[a]
25 If you follow the law, then your circumcision has meaning. But if you break the law, then it is as if you were never circumcised. 26 Those who are not Jews are not circumcised. But if they do what the law says, it is as if they were circumcised. 27 You have the written law and circumcision, but you break the law. So those who are not circumcised in their bodies, but still obey the law, will show that you are guilty.
28 You are not a true Jew if you are only a Jew in your physical body. True circumcision is not only on the outside of the body. 29 A true Jew is one who is a Jew inside. True circumcision is done in the heart. It is done by the Spirit, not by the written law. And anyone who is circumcised in the heart by the Spirit gets praise from God, not from people.
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