“The Law of Creation and Conscience” (Romans 2:14–16)
Pastor Cameron Jungels
Eastside Baptist Church
Sunday, April 2, 2017
Romans 2:12-16, NIV
12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
- Everyone has an innate sense of right and wrong built into them by their Creator God (vv. 14–15; 1:18–20, 24–27).
a. This “natural moral law” is available in Creation and Conscience and is not dependent on having heard the Law of God or the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
b. This “natural moral law” exists, because people sometimes, inconsistently obey it.
c. This “natural moral law” has been attested by many cultures and civilizations throughout human history, giving evidence to its existence.
d. This “natural moral law” is attested to by the human conscience when it either excuses our behavior or condemns our behavior.
- This innate sense of right and wrong will leave everyone without an excuse for their sin on the Day of Judgment (vv. 14–15, 12a; 1:20).
20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-- his eternal power and divine nature-- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (Romans 1:20, NIV)
- The occasional and inconsistent obedience of pagans to the natural moral law of God will serve as further condemnation on those who had access to God’s Word and did not obey it (vv. 12b–15).
46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? (Matt. 5:46-47, NIV)
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father's wife. (1 Co. 5:1, NIV)
21 you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 As it is written: "God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you." (Romans 2:21-24, NIV)
- Everyone will be perfectly and exhaustively judged by God through Jesus Christ on the last day (v. 16).
10 "I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve." (Jer. 17:10, NIV)
11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Heb. 4:11-13, NIV)
21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him. (John 5:21-23, NIV)
29 "Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone-- an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead." (Acts 17:29-31, NIV)
5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God. (1 Co. 4:5, NIV)
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (2 Co. 5:10, NIV)