Romans 2:15

15 They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, to which their own conscience also bears witness; and their conflicting thoughts will accuse or perhaps excuse them

Romans 2:15 Meaning and Commentary

Romans 2:15

Which show the work of the law written in their hearts,
&c.] Though the Gentiles had not the law in form, written on tables, or in a book, yet they had "the work", the matter, the sum and substance of it in their minds; as appears by the practices of many of them, in their external conversation. The moral law, in its purity and perfection, was written on the heart of Adam in his first creation; was sadly obliterated by his sin and fall; upon several accounts, and to answer various purposes, a system of laws was written on tables of stone for the use of the Israelites; and in regeneration the law is reinscribed on the hearts of God's people; and even among the Gentiles, and in their hearts, there are some remains of the old law and light of nature, which as by their outward conduct appears, so by the inward motions of their minds,

their conscience also bearing witness;
for, as the Jews say F18 (wb hdyem Mda lv wtmvn) , "the soul of a man witnesses in him"; for, or against him:

and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one
another;
and this the Heathens themselves acknowledge, when they


FOOTNOTES:

F19 speak of

``(tameion dikasthrion kai krithrion thv suneidhsewv) , "the conclave, tribunal and judgment of conscience"; and which they call (dikasthn dikaiotaton) , "the most righteous judge": whose judgment reason receives, and gives its suffrage to, whether worthy of approbation or reproof; when it reads in the memory as if written on a table the things that are done, and then beholding the law as an exemplar, pronounces itself either worthy of honour or dishonour.''


F18 T. Bab. Chagigah, fol. 16. 1. & Taanith, fol. 11. 1.
F19 Hierocles in Carmina Pythagor. p. 81, 206, 209, 213, 214.

Romans 2:15 In-Context

13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous in God's sight, but the doers of the law who will be justified.
14 When Gentiles, who do not possess the law, do instinctively what the law requires, these, though not having the law, are a law to themselves.
15 They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, to which their own conscience also bears witness; and their conflicting thoughts will accuse or perhaps excuse them
16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God, through Jesus Christ, will judge the secret thoughts of all.
17 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast of your relation to God