There are two types of Jews. First, there is the Jew who is the physical descendant of Abraham. Second, there is the Jew in Spirit who believes in Jesus Christ. Paul wrote, “Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest on the law, and makest thy boast of God … For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision [Gentiles] keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? … For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God” (Romans 2:17, 25, 26, 28, 29).
Paul is saying that a person who is “called a Jew” because he is a physical descendant of Abraham, and yet who lives as a lawbreaker, “is not a Jew”—at least, not in God’s eyes. His “circumcision is made uncircumcision.” It is revoked. Thus to God, he is a Gentile. And a believing gentile, who through faith keeps “the righteousness of the law,” his uncircumcision is counted for circumcision. Thus to God, he is a true Jew.
John the Baptist warned the Jews not to have confidence in the ancestry saying. “Bring forth therefore fruits meet [worthy] for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham” (Matthew 3:8, 9).
Paul also wrote, “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham” (Galatians 3:7). “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh” (Philippians 3:3). Thus, according to Paul, a true Jew in the sight of God is anybody—Jew or Gentile—who has personal faith in Jesus Christ!
In His service,