Does these people do works of the law Romans 2: 14-16?


#1

What does this passage mean?

Do these people do the works of the law because it is now written on their hearts?

THANKS!!!


#2

St. Paul is talking about the “natural law” – the works of the “moral law of God” which is written on the heart of every human being.

The Gentiles do not have the law (given to the Hebrews), but “by nature” they observe the prescriptions of the law (don’t bear false witness, do not murder, do not commit adultery, give honor to parents, worship God, etc.).

They are a “law for themselves” because their own conscience has God’s law written on it.

This means that every human being is answerable to God – not just the Jews (at the time) and today not just Christians. But all people have the law in their human conscience. It’s the basics of the moral law that all humans have.

In verse 15 St. Paul says that their conscience accuses them of doing something wrong – they know they’re guilty of sinning against the law of God, even though they didn’t have the Holy Scriptures.


#3

Romans 2: 14 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: 15 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…

This sounds like Jeremiah’s New Covenant.

The word for nature is the same word that St. Peter uses: sharing in the Divine Nature.

I was wondering if God’s love is not written on the hearts of the Gentile Christian.

This is why I asked: It is extremely difficult to discern.

But some Gentiles did do the works of the law.
And it seems the only way one can do the works of the law is with that which completes the Law–Christ.

I am not here for an argument, but to further my personal relationship with Jesus Christ.


#4

I think Paul is here speaking of the gentile pagans, not the Christians. Even the pagans, who don’t yet know Christ and who also don’t have the law of Moses to guide them, have some knowledge of what is good and evil and this is what they will be judged on.


#5

He is for certain.


#6

There are a lot of different levels and meanings to the term “the law”. In this case, St. Paul is talking about the natural moral law that is written on the hearts of all people. In every human conscience God has given his moral law. Additionally, St. Paul points out that pagan Gentiles actually do fulfill this moral law and they feel guilty when they don’t.

But this is just the natural moral law.

The fullness of the law of God is what Christ brought through his death and resurrection. It’s the perfect worship and union with the Father that is now possible. That cannot be fulfilled by just the natural moral law alone. It takes the order of grace for that.

But one important thing that St. Paul is teaching here is that the pagans were capable of doing the law of God at one level.

This goes against the notion that some people have that human beings were totally incapable of any good actions outside of the Christian faith.


#7

I am not sure, but I think this term “Natural Law” is post or non-biblical.

Is the term Natural Law non-biblical?

Where in Holy Writ is natural law mention?

If it is mentioned, where is explained?

God Bless!


#8

The *term *“Natural Law” is not in the Bible. It is simply the name given for what is being discussed in this thread – much like the term “Trinity” does not appear in the Scriptures, yet the concept is biblical.


#9

Every human being is made in the image and likeness of God. We all have sufficient grace revealed to us to incline our hearts toward God, and what is good, and right. Even if a person never hears the Gospel, such a person may answer this call. Abraham was such a man. He was born and reared in a Pagan society, but heard God’s call and followed.

This one in Romans we are discussing is one, where Paul states “do by nature” he means following natural moral law.

Another is 1 Cor 11:14 “Does not nature itself teach you…”

but try putting THAT passage in your moral pipe and smoking it!!! :shrug:


#10

These Gentiles DO the things of the LAW.

Romans 2: 14 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: 15 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…

I find this to be interesting too: Rather, in every nation whoever fears Him and ACTS UPRIGHTLY is acceptable to Him.

KJV Acts 10: 35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

These people act or work rightousness.

Most beautiful, no!


#11

Concerning the the doers of the law, I wounder if that is Enoch and Noah.

Noah and Enoch were some really good Gentiles.


#12

Are these passages and O. T. Gentiles important for the Lutheran and Catholic discussions?

In terms of righteous Gentiles, could one list Seth, Noah, the Prince of Salem, Job, Enoch and even the Centurian in the Gospel?

Well, it is just a thought.


#13

I John 3: 12

Not as Cain, [who] was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.


#14

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