Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
Rom. 2:12-16, “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.”
When God created mankind, He created self-conscious moral people. However, since the “Fall” in the Garden of Eden, all of mankind has been marred by sin and this created a huge problem for us.
All of us bear the image of God regardless of how broken we may be. Part of this image-bearing means that all of us have a sense of a common morality where we instinctively know something to be right or wrong. It’s that sense that crosses over all cultural lines. I think this is what Paul was saying here; he’s saying that the Gentiles showed by their behavior that the requirements of the law were written on their hearts. So, although they did not have the written law in their hands as the Jews did, they did have the requirements in their hearts because God had written them there.
Remember the context of our passage…Paul was talking about judgment. Even though the Jews had the written word, the Gentiles had it too. Their hearts, their consciences, and their thoughts bore witness to it. However “good” the Gentiles may have been, they were still just as guilty as their counterparts in falling short of God’s righteousness.
I can think of some men who are not followers of Christ, but in the way they love their children, pursue and serve their wives, they are far better than I am. I recently went to a funeral of a man who was a good man morally speaking. Yet, by his own admittance, he was not a follower of Christ.
We all want to believe that somehow the good make it to heaven and the bad go to hell, but by what do we judge good and bad? How bad does bad have to be…how good does good have to be? This is Paul’s point; we can do all kinds of good stuff and still miss the truth. We can have the law in our hands and written on our hearts, but that in itself does not make us right with God. What it does show us is that we are on a level playing field when it comes to the judgement of God…we all have fallen short of His glory.
It is only the free gift of God’s righteousness found in the shed blood of Christ Jesus on our behalf and accessed through faith that puts us right with God. This is the good news.
*From what you have just read and considered: What is a personal implication/application for your life today?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.