Written in their Hearts
A Sermon on Romans 2:13-15Read more
Do unsaved people know God's law? Is it fair to judge Gentiles based on a law the Jews received but they did not? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains how Paul anticipates that question and shows the universal guilt of all men for disobeying God's commandments. He explains that God has “written the law in their hearts” ¬– the conscience – and even so, all people can be judged according to their moral consciousness. The conscience is an individual’s sense of right and wrong, mostly telling us when something is wrong and condemning us for doing wrong things. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that even though Paul is answering potential questions on salvation, he is not explicitly talking about salvation in this passage. He is, however, talking about those who are under wrath and condemnation. Paul is also very explicit that no one can be justified by living up to the law or by living up to the conscience of their heart because no one can live up to either standard.
Additional Scripture Translations
Romans 2:13-15, New American Standard Bible
13for it is not the hearers of the Law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the Law who will be justified. 14For when Gentiles who do not have the Law instinctively perform the requirements of the Law, these, though not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience testifying and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,
Romans 2:13-15, King James Version
13(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. 14For 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: 15Which 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;)
About Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.