23 You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? 24 For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written.
In verses 23 and 24 Paul continued his argument against inconsistency in the way Jews practiced Scripture.
You [the Jew] who make your boast in the law [Scripture], do you dishonor God through breaking [transgressing] the law?
God’s ultimate revelation is in the “law.” It is one thing for the Jew to possess the law and it is another thing to have the law possess them. “Breaking” means to transgress. Transgression means to cross a line. Here, the transgression is against God’s revelation. To do this was to “dishonor God.” Their life denied their lip and their practice undermined their profession.
For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,”
Paul documented the assertion of verse 23 by a quotation. The Jews’ inconsistency in applying principles of Scripture demonstrated their hypocrisy. Gentiles saw that hypocrisy clearly. All this diminished the “name” of God. One’s name embodies the whole person. Gentiles blaspheme God’s character because of inconsistency by those who teach God’s Word or represent Him on earth.
as it is written.
This is a quotation from Isaiah 52:5 (from the Greek translation of the Old Testament—the Septuagint). The formula “it is written” shows a proof-texting approach to the Jew.
Inconsistency in God’s people damages God’s reputation.
The name of God is subject to ridicule because of inconsistency in the lives of believers. “Why don’t you live up to what you teach from God’s Word? What you believe must not be very important to you if you are not consistent in what you believe.” If we preach cream but live skim milk, or if we are all talk and no walk, then people without Christ will look on us askance. God demands more than talk.