Friday, July 29, 2011

August 12, 2011 (1 Samuel 2; Romans 2; Jeremiah 40; Psalms 15-16)

Romans 2:14-15 is often misinterpreted. Here is the text:

14] For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. [15] They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them
Some take this to mean that the proverbial man on the island or “noble savage” who has never heard the gospel or the name of Jesus may somehow be saved possibly. They assume this because Paul says that they “by nature do what the law requires.”, and their consciences defend them. This is not what Paul means. Listen to D.A. Carson on this point:
Paul is not arguing that there is a subset of Gentiles who are so good that their consciences are always clean, and therefore they will be saved. Rather, he is arguing that Gentiles everywhere have some knowledge of right and wrong, even though they do not have the law, and that this is demonstrated in the fact that they sometimes do things in line with the law, and have consciences that sometimes accuse them and sometimes defend them. His argument is not that some are good enough to be saved, but that all display, by their intuitive grasp of right and wrong, an awareness of such moral standards… that they too have enough knowledge to be accountable.”
Paul will make explicitly clear later in this letter (10:17) that it is only faith in Jesus that saves. General revelation and our conscience is enough to condemn but not enough to bring about faith. So then, those of us who know this Jesus, what kind of attitude should that birth in us for those who have still not heard?

No comments:

Post a Comment