More from Romans 1:18-3:20
In the sermon last Sabbath (Saturday) I showed that Paul’s main purpose was to reveal that all are sinners in need of a Savior. The Jews believed themselves to be a guide to the blind and a light to those in darkness. The blind and those in darkness were, of course the Gentiles-and especially the Romans. In the follow- ing section Paul tries to give both the Jews—whose focus was on the law, given them as the people favored by God—and the Roman Gentiles a picture of how God is fair in judging both those who knew the law of Moses that condemns sin and those who did not know that law. Read the following section from the Mod- ern English Version:
2:12-16 12 As many as have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and as many as have sinned under the law will be judged by the law, 13 for the hearers of the law are not justified before God, but the doers of the law will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, not having the law, are a law unto them- selves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, while their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them, 16 in the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Jesus Christ.
What do you think Paul’s primary message is to the readers to whom he wrote this letter?
What do you think he meant when he referred to the “law written in the hearts” of the Gentiles and how that will affect God’s judgment of them “in the day” God judges, not just the actions of all but even the secret thoughts and motives of all?
How do you relate to this passage as you consider God as judge? How do you relate to this passage as you think of others from different Christian faiths, non-Christian faiths and non-Christians?