i got the idea from another website, but decided to try the idea, and found the results startling.
i would love to hear some of the questions raised by the text below, but first an explanation of what i’ve done:
a) substituted “Christian” for “Jew”
b) substituted “Muslims or Buddhists” for “Gentiles”
c) substituted “Baptism” for “Circumcision”
d) substituted “law of grace” for “law”
i’ll point out that i’m not trying to re-write romans here, just bring up some questions about this life of “being christians”.
anyway, onto the text:
For it is not the hearers of the law of grace who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law of grace who will be justified. For when Muslims or Buddhists, who do not have the law of grace, by nature do what the law of grace requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law of grace. They show that the work of the law of grace is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.
But if you call yourself a Christian and rely on the law of grace and boast in God and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law of grace; 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 of grace 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 of grace dishonor God by breaking the law of grace. For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Muslims or Buddhists because of you.”
For baptism indeed is of value if you obey the law of grace, but if you break the law of grace, your baptism becomes non-baptism. So, if a man who is not baptized keeps the precepts of the law of grace, will not his non-baptism be regarded as baptism? Then he who is physically not baptized but keeps the law of grace will condemn you who have the written code and baptism but break the law of grace. For no one is a Christian who is merely one outwardly, nor is baptism outward and physical. But a Christian is one inwardly, and baptism is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.