February 6, 1979
Verse 13 is a parenthesis, and the parenthesis goes down to the end of Verse 15. So Verse
16 follows immediately Verse 12 context wise.
“For as many” – As many Gentiles
“Have” – Scratch “have”
“Without law” – Without the Mosaic law given at Mt. Sinai that Moses brought down. It’s
talking about that. Law is a declaration of God’s will. But the Gentiles sinned without that
declaration, that law of Sinai.
“Also” should follow the word “perish.” Perish also.
“Without law” – Without the law of Sinai, many times referred to as the Mosaic law.
“Perish also” – is a loss of well being, not a loss of being.
I do not believe that any man will ever be condemned by God because of ignorance of that
which has never been known or available to him. That’s why I think this is a loss of well
being, not a loss of being.
“The” – Scratch “the.” Have sinned with law or in law of Moses, the law of Sinai.
“Judged” – Like the word “perish” in Verse 15. I do not have a text tonight to document it,
but put the thing together logically. Have sinned without law. Shall perish also without
law. And as many as have sinned in law shall be judged, shall perish. That would be
logical. The Gentiles without the Mosaic law are null and void. They are dead in trespasses
and sins. Those who received the Mosaic law are dead in trespasses and sins.
Shall be judged by the Mosaic law in the day.
“In the day” – A better translation would be “at the time when God will judge.”
God is going to do the judging. He’ll judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, His son.
The revelation that God gave to Jesus Christ which is made known to people, and if people
don’t accept the Lord Jesus Christ, they are going to be judged by God because they had a
chance. They are ignorant only because they want to be ignorant, not because knowledge
was not available. Knowledge is available. That’s why it says “when God will judge the
secrets of men.”
By Jesus Christ – By what Jesus Christ made available. By what he came to do and what
“According to my gospel” – Romans 16:25
“According to my gospel” – That gospel is the mystery. It is the revelation that God gave
to Paul about the mystery, the Christ in you, the church of the body, Gentiles fellow heirs
and of the same body. That’s the gospel which was kept secret since the world began, but
now is made manifest, revealed to Paul.
II Timothy 2:8
Without the resurrection of the lord Jesus Christ, there never would have been the mystery
which was revealed to Paul, which is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and of the same
body. It’s Christ in you, the hope of glory.
That puts together Verse 12 and 16.
But what about the parenthesis in Romans 2? We’re just going to read them and take a
look at them. They tie in by way of explanation very beautifully, because those without the
law, not having the Mosaic law, they perish. Those with the law, they perish. At the time
when God is going to judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, and you and I know that is
Thinking of that tonight, I don’t think I’ve ever been more grateful for the hope of Christ’s
return than I am right now. Day after day the concept becomes sweeter in the reality of the
presence of Christ in my life. Thought about it again today. If it wasn’t for my believing in
the hope of Christ’s return, I think I would quit. Let the nation go to hell, let people go to
hell, let them do as they fool please. But you can’t do it. Why? Because you are a born
again believer, you love God and you love His Word, and he’s coming back. It’s the hope
of his return where we know we are going to be rewarded for our faithfulness, not for
numbers, not for persecution, not for what anybody might have said, but because we have
stood for him as he stood for us in this world. The return of Christ, the hope of his return,
is one of the most outstanding thrills in my life tonight, and I’m real grateful for it.
“For not” – Ou, absolutely not.
“The” – not in text, so scratch
“For not the hearers of law, the Mosaic law, are just before God.”
“Before” – para
“The doers of the law” – The doers of the Mosaic law, the law of Sinai.
“Justified” – Free from all condemnation. It means to be pronounced or declared
righteous. I believe this is its first usage if I remember correctly.
“For when Gentiles” – Scratch “the.”
“Not” – mē
“Have not law” – Scratch “the” again. Gentiles which have not law. What law? Mosaic,
laws of Sinai. Ten Commandments.
“Do by nature” – “Nature” is same as in Verse 26, natural use, nature’s use. Do by nature
the things of the law, the things of the law they do by nature.
“These having not the law” – These not having law, Mosaic or laws of Sinai
Romans 2:12-16 111
“Which shew” – Show forth the works of the law.
“Written in their hearts” – They show it forth in a practical way. In their hearts, the
innermost part of their being. The Gentiles were without law. That does not mean there
were no laws, but they were without the Mosaic, laws of Sinai. No man is without law. ‘
Let me show you a principle and I think you’ll understand these verses. People don’t
understand these verses, because they don’t sit down and logically think them through.
They show forth the work of the law written in their hearts. They show it forth in a
practical way in their hearts. Why? Because every man has within him an inner law of life.
The natural man. When I’m talking natural man, I’m speaking about a clean boy, just body
and soul, not possessed, not controlled. That natural man has an inner law written in his
Let me show it to you. The Mosaic law says thou shalt not steal. The Gentile didn’t have
that law, but he had it written in a practical way in his heart. Maybe I don’t think it’s
wrong to steal front you. But there’s a law written within me, once you start stealing from
me, I find it’s not quite so nice. That’s the inner law. That’s all there is to it. Isn’t that
beautiful? You don’t have to have a law written, Thou shalt not steal, because if you steal
from someone, you might not think it’s wrong. But the moment they steal from you, you
know there’s something wrong. It’s the inner law. That’s what he is talking about.
In a practical way in their hearts.
“Their conscience” – Conscience is habit pattern. (Scratch “also.”) Written in their hearts,
the innermost part of their being. It’s so simple. I sock you, that doesn’t hurt me. But you
turn around and sock me, now I’m hurt. Then I learned a habit pattern. That’s my
conscience, habit pattern. I steal from you. That doesn’t hurt me. Now you reciprocate and
you steal from me, then I get hurt. Now I’m building a habit pattern. That’s conscience. So
I don’t steal. I don’t beat you.
Their conscience, habit pattern, bearing witness therewith. Therewith what? The law is
written in the innermost part of a man. It’s written in the fabric of the soul and the life of
every man, body and soul, that God originally formed, made and created, and has passed
down through the generations.
And thoughts. – “Thoughts” is Greek word logismos transliterated into the English word
for logic or logical.
Bearing witness and logically.
“mean while” – In King James it’s the mean while. One other place it’s used it is translated
reasonings. And their reasonings. Here it’s translated thoughts. I wonder if we couldn’t
more beautifully get the thought concept translating it “bearing witness therewith and their
logic, just logically, either accusing or else excusing one another.”
I wonder why accusing preceded excusing. I think it’s very simple because it’s so easy to
accuse people, much more difficult to excuse another person than it usually is for you to
“Excuse” – apologeomai, translated into our English word apologize.
It’s much easier to accuse someone than to apologize and be sorry and be helpful for
instance to one another. This is quite a record. Bearing witness therewith, and logically
regarding others, or another, accusing or apologizing. The reason we’re headed for this is
because the next verse we deal with the Jew who was always accusing the Gentile of not
living up because he didn’t have the law.