God has made Himself known to everyone. He has done this through general revelation and special revelation.
Take some time and discuss the difference between the two types of revelation.
Our objective is to understand that Paul’s wider argument is that Gentiles and Jews are in the same situation when it comes to God’s judgment: all have fallen short of God’s righteousness and they are without excuse when they reject Him, all are deserving of God’s judgement, and God does not show favoritism. However, for the believer, the follower of Christ, there is no need to fear judgment because there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus; the believer has been set free from the law of sin and death.
“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 since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.”
What is a moral law or “the law from conscience” that Paul is talking about?
How does moral law differ from natural law?
By what criteria does God judge Jews and Gentiles? Does He show favoritism?
In talking about Gentiles, what does Paul mean when he says that “the requirements of the law are written on their hearts (verse 15)?”
What ‘three further truths about judgment day’ does Paul add in verse 16? How do you respond to these?
Why is Paul making sure we understand the bad news?
If all this is true, then why do believers not have to despair? How does Romans 8:1-4 (see below) make this clear
Our application is found in Romans 8:1-4, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so He condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.”
There is no need for us to despair, for there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. This promise is true, you can count on it.
So what do we do? Make sure you are in Christ. Believe the gospel. God has made a way for us and it’s found in God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone! Ephesians 2:8 says “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God…” John 3:16 states “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Okay, I’ve done that, but what do I do when my conscience condemns me? Here’s what you do: 1. Give thanks to God. Remember that it is His kindness that leads us to repentance; remember that conviction is a gift. 2. Repent and turn to God. 3. Believe; don’t live in condemnation. Remember there is now no condemnation.