A mass murderer has been found “not guilty”, because it was shown that they did not know that killing another human being is wrong. This person has faced judgement and has survived because of lack of knowledge. I am sure that most of you reading this message, will simply not accept this kind of situation. Everyone will be up in arms and on the streets, showing their disapproval of this kind of judgement and demanding justice for the victims and their families. We will all be calling this an injustice.
God also does not approve of this injustice and has made sure that no one will escape His judgement on the basis that they did not know. We all know the law of God, therefore, God expects us to obey it, or face His judgement for disobedience. We will see in our passage for this message, how God has ensured that no one escapes His judgement because of lack of knowledge.
We must obey or face God’s Judgement Because God has written His Law in our Hearts
Romans 2:14 – 15(a) (ESV Strong’s)
14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, ….
Remember that in verse 9 – 11, Paul has already indicated that every human being will face God’s Judgement because God is impartial. God will not show favoritism to anyone. In verses 12-13, Paul told the Jews that it does not matter whether one has the written law or not, everyone will be judged with or without the written law. Paul told them that it is not about whether you have the written law or not, it is about whether you obey the law or not. Therefore, Paul was telling them that the mere possession of the written law will not save them, but it is when they obey it, that they will be saved.
Now, having said that God is impartial, meaning everyone will be judged in the same way and on the same basis, the natural question that follow in the minds of the Jews is, how can the gentiles or non Jews be judged on the basis of the written law that they do not have. Paul anticipates this question and begins to answer it in verse 14.
Paul says in verse 14, that although the gentiles do not have the written law of God, through their behavior, they show that indeed they do have the law of God. Some of their behavior that is in line with God’s written law as the Jews have it, show that the gentiles indeed have God’s law. It shows that although the Jews had God’s law written on stones, the gentiles had God’s law written on their hearts.
We must obey or face God’s Judgement Because Our Conscience Provides Evidence of the Law that is Written on Our hearts
Romans 2:15(b) (ESV Strong’s)
15 ……..while their conscience also bears witness, ……
To support his statement that gentiles have God’s law written on their hearts even further, Paul says that their conscience, meaning the gentiles consciences, provides evidence that God has indeed written the law on their hearts. This means the gentiles have an inborn sense of right or wrong and that is because of the law of God that is written on their hearts.
We must obey or face God’s Judgement Because Our Thoughts will either Accuse or Excuse us on Judgement Day
Romans 2:15(c)-16 (ESV Strong’s)
15 ….and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.
Paul indicated that some of the gentile behavior and their inborn sense of right or wrong, prove that God has indeed written His law on the hearts of the gentiles. Now Paul says their thoughts, which comes from their sense of right or wrong, will either save them or condemn them on judgement day, depending on how they reacted to them. If they ignored their inborn sense of right and wrong, and went to sin against God, then they will be condemned, otherwise, they will be saved if they obeyed. God through Jesus, will judge the secrets of men. This means all their secrets will be placed on the open before Jesus and based on that, they will be judged.
What was Paul saying to the Jews in this Passage?
Paul is clearly saying to the Jews that indeed God will judge every human being in the same way and on the same basis and non-Jews or gentiles are not excluded from this. Although they do not have the written law of God written on stones, they have God’s law written on their hearts instead, and how they behave, together with their conscience proves this fact. They too, just like the Jews, will face God’s judgement if they do not obey this law.
What is God saying to us today through this Passage?
Today we are much better than both the Jews and gentiles of Paul’s day in that, the Jews only had the Old Testament, while we have both the Old and the New Testament. The gentiles of that day did not even have the Old Testament. We are in a much better situation because not only do we have our conscience to warn us of right and wrong, we have the written word of God that can also guide us. Given the little that Jews and gentiles had in Paul’s time, compared to us, and God’s command of them to obey, how much more are we then commanded to obey. Much more has been given to us by God and much more is expected from us.
We have the written word of God and the mere possession of it, will not save us but through our obedience of God’s word, we will be saved. What does the word of God say, it says we must repent and put our faith in Jesus Christ alone. If we do not obey this command found in the written word of God, we will face God’s judgement. It will not be enough of a defense on judgement day, to say we did not know. We all know and we all must obey.
Paul has succeeded in making clear to all of us that every one of us, will not escape God’s judgement if we disobey His word. Let us all repent and place our trust in Jesus, and walk according to the truth.
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