Paul’s Letter to the Romans Part 14

This entry is part 14 of 35 in the series Paul's Letter to the Romans

Paul shows his admiration for the Gentile when considering they required no law, and yet exhibited all the actions of the Law, having the works, not the letters, graven upon their minds. Paul does not say that the gentiles lived up to their natural law anymore then the Jews lived up to the reveal law. On the contrary, he was seeking to show that all are sinners and need the gospel of Christ to save them. But they did have an idea of right and wrong. 

Part 14

“Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another” (Romans 2:15). The moral requirements of the law are just such things as any decent set of people would recognize as proper and right, even if they never had a revelation. There conscience, like the conscience of those who had a revealed law, would accuse them when they failed to live up to their standard of right, and approve them when they did right as they saw it. That is the office of conscience. Your moral judgment may tell you that a certain person did very wrong, but his act does not affect your conscience in any way, unless you feel responsible for his action. Saul of Tarsus always did what he thought was right, and therefore always had a good conscience. But his information was wrong, and therefore his moral judgment was wrong. As to moral judgment, no man can safely say that he is right on everything. Gain all the information you can, so that you can form correct judgments, and give heed to the urge of conscience.“In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel” (v. 16). Let each man enter into his own conscience, and reckoning up his transgressions, let him call himself to a strict account, that we are not condemned with the world. “But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world” (1 Cor. 11:32). Call to mind what is said in the Gospel, the Angels running to and fro, of the bridechamber being shut, of the lamps going out, of the powers which drag to the furnaces. And consider this, that if a secret deed of any one of us were brought forth into the midst, today, before the Church only, what could he do but pray to perish, and to have the earth to gape for him, rather than have so many witnesses of his wickedness? How then shall we feel, when, before the whole world, all things are brought into the midst, in a theatre so bright and open, with both those known and those unknown to us seeing into everything? What is to become of us then when bound, and gnashing our teeth, we are led away to the outer darkness? Or, rather, what shall we do when we offend God? This is why Paul states: “For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God” (1 Corinthians 15:9). Also, listen to David, when he is set free from the punishment, calling vengeance down upon himself, “And David spake unto the Lord when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father’s house” (2 Samuel 24:17). Therefore, we ought to know having offended God is more distressing than to be punished. But sadly, we have no fear of hell.

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