A Christian In Name Only

Jul 16, 2023 By: Chad Chauvin Topic: Law and Gospel Series: Romans: Getting the Gospel Right Scripture: Romans 2:17-24


ESV Romans 17 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God
18 and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law;
19 and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness,
20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth–
21 you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal?
22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?
23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law.
24 For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”


Many Jews in Paul’s time were self-deceived, believing that their special status as God’s covenant people and their law keeping gave them a leg up on salvation . Paul corrects their thinking by explaining that it is not the title “Jew” or that matters, but a changed heart. Similarly, many so-called Christians are Christians in name only and are not truly born again. Here Paul gives us three indicators that someone is a Christian in name only:

  1. Vs. 17-18 A Christian in name only trusts their religious upbrining
  2. Vs. 19-20 A Christian in name only believes they are better than others
  3. Vs. 21-24 A Christian in name only is a hypocrite outside the church