Do By Nature

Romans 2:12-16 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which show 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;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

‘For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law’ not only is it stated in Romans 2:7-11 that God will judge on the basis of character and conduct, but here (2:12-16) it is stated that He will judge character and conduct on the basis of light received (knowledge acquired). ‘Also perish without law’ no Mosaic law will be cited against non-Jews.

‘For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified’ not the hearers of the law and of the gospel, but the doers will be justified (2:7-11; 10:8-21; Jas. 1:21-27; 2:14-26; 1Jn. 1:7).

‘Do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves’ Gentiles who are a law unto themselves will not be held accountable to any other law or be judged by any other.

‘Show 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’ their keeping of the law by nature proves they have the law written in their hearts. The conscience bears witness of obedience or condemns for disobedience, proving God has not left people without light (knowledge) sufficient to justify or condemn in the judgment (2:15-16). It does not say here that keeping the law, or doing by nature what the law requires, saves the soul in either case. People have to be born again in addition to this to be saved. ‘According to my gospel’ according to foundations God laid down in His gospel. The Father will judge all people by Jesus Christ. He will be impartial and judge on the basis of deeds, not knowledge (2:7-11); and light (knowledge), not laws that people never possessed (2:12-16).

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