|Romans 2:11-16 |
11 For there is no respect of persons with God. [There is no partiality shown to any man for any reason by God; all men are judged by their works.]
12 For all [the non-Jews] who sin* without the law will also perish without the law; and all [the Jews] who sin under the law will be judged by the law; [Paul is telling us we must become free of sin before we die, or we will perish; to become free of sin is the gospel of Jesus Christ — go to all nations and preach repentance with release from the bondage (remission) of sin. Paul is writing to very mature Christians in Rome. Paul is telling Christians that if they sin, they will perish. All who sin, (continue to sin), will perish — all means all, even those who believe in Jesus. The only way you can escape the consequences of sin is by following the moral commandments of the law, denying yourself, and picking up your cross to follow Jesus every day. If you do, you will not perish; instead you will have the life of God that is without beginning or end, and you will become free of sin to enter the Kingdom of God to be in union with God, while on earth and then forever.
13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are justified before God, but the doers of the law [the obedient] who will be justified. [Paul is telling us all that if we are not obedient to law, we will not be acceptable to God; even the Gentiles, (non-Jews), without the law of Moses, will be judged by their obedience to the moral law written in all men's hearts and consciences. They will be judged by the record kept in their conscience of their thoughts, which accuse or excuse them.]
14 For when the Gentiles, who do not have the law, do [obey] by instinct the things contained in the law, these men who do not have the law, are a law to themselves.
15 Who show the work of the law written in their hearts, and their conscience also bears witness; while their thoughts accuse or else excuse them.4 [This law is written on every man's heart. It makes us feel bad when we lie or steal. This law includes the external moral laws: do not steal, do not lie, do not covet, do not murder, do not commit adultery, (and all sexual immorality), honor your parents, do unto others as you would have them do to you, etc. Every man will be judged by God according to the inner law; no man is excused from this law for any reason, and it has never been annulled or cancelled. The law has dominion over a man as long as he lives, Rom 7:1; the inner law on the heart of every man, which includes moral core of the outward law, is our schoolmaster until we have crucified our sinful nature on the inward cross of self-denial. The inner law's moral laws exceed the external, Mosaic moral laws for as Jesus said, he came to fulfill the law; and then He told us how it was to be strengthened, which the inner law reflects. This strengthened inner law can be understood to have been violated anytime you exhibit a fruit of the flesh, which includes: sexual immorality, uncleanness, covetousness, filthiness, foolish talking, jesting, profanity, adultery, lack of restraint, sorcery, hatred, arguments, jealousies, rage, selfish ambition, divisiveness, envies, murders, drunkenness, revelries (partying), evil thoughts, fornications, wickedness, deceit, blasphemy, pride, anger, boasting, flattery, immodesty, immorality, and foolishness; any of these disqualify any man from heaven. From the Word of the Lord within: "The law is in every man's heart, and it must be obeyed; the supreme law — never been cancelled. You cannot pass the moral commandments and be a Christian. You must have a devotion to the law that is on every man's heart; you must listen; and you must obey. Be on your guard at all times to be sure your words do not reflect the fruits of the flesh."]
16 All this occurs in the day when God will judge the secrets of men's hearts by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.
4 For when the Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by instinct the things contained in the law, these men who do not have the law, are a law to themselves. Who show the work of the law written in their hearts, and their conscience also bears witness; while their thoughts accuse or else excuse them. This law is written on every man's heart. It makes us feel bad when we lie or steal. This law includes the outward, Mosaic moral laws: do unto others as you would have them do to you, do not steal, do not lie, do not covet, do not murder, do not commit adultery, (and all sexual immorality), honor your parents, and love your neighbor as yourself. Every man will be judged according to this law; no man is excused from this law, and it has never been annulled or cancelled. Do you not know brothers, (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? Rom 7:1. All sinners without the law will perish. Christendom, wake up; sin and heaven are mutually exclusive. Even those outside the law will be judged by the moral law in their hearts, which convicts them when they lie, steal, hate, cheat, etc. Obedience to the moral law is a prerequisite to receiving the guidance of the Holy Spirit, which is only given to those who are obedient. Acts 5:32.
Paul is not referring to works of the law, like animal sacrifices, like tithing, like festivals, like no work on the Sabbath — those don't count, they are works of the flesh. Paul is referring to the moral core of the law, which is included in the law on every man's heart: loving your neighbor, loving God, not stealing, not lying, not coveting, honoring your mother and father, not committing adultery, (and all sexual immorality), etc. — these must be obeyed to have any hope of spiritual progress. Note! The moral law is not the works of the Law that Paul speaks of when he says: Not by works, (dead works, done in the will of man), lest any man boast.
Jesus spoke: "Do not think that I have come to destroy the law or the prophets. I have not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, in no way shall one letter or one stroke, (jot, and tittle), pass from the law, until it is all fulfilled." Mat 5:17-18. In the immediately following verses, He gives us examples of how He is strengthening the law so that it is fulfilled, even exceeded:
Clearly Jesus has defined a much stronger law; clearly He insists that we exceed the righteousness of observing the Mosaic law.
While Christ's blood sacrifice made the Mosaic law obsolete, the inner law on every man's heart is still alive, never cancelled, (which inner law includes the moral core of the Mosaic law); and to be freed from the law, which has dominion over a man until death, you must die to the law through the law described by Paul in Romans 7:1,4-6,9. You must submit to God condemning the sins in your flesh, with commands that you hear when waiting on Him; those commands are established as laws in you heart, which you must obey and continue to obey until you are crucified, freed from all sin.
From the Word of the Lord within:
A crucified disciple produces the fruit of the spirit, which fulfills the law as he walks in love. Heaven and earth pass away as the disciple is completely controlled by the Spirit of Christ and is translated into the kingdom of heaven within himself. The Law applies to fallen man, who lost the life and guidance of God by Adam's fall in the Garden of Eden; no law applies to a man who has been restored to the spiritual image of God.
George Fox wrote of the end of the Mosaic law:
Christ came not to break the law; the apostle said the law was good in its place, and he established it; yet the apostle says that the Sabbath was a shadow, but the body was Christ, and he brings them to the law in the heart, in the mind, and there he established it. Christ did not come to break one jot or tittle of it, but (mark) to fulfill it; and he said, "not one jot or tittle of the law should be broken until fulfilled."...the offerings being changed; the law also changed, and the offering, Christ Jesus, having come, the law came to be within, and the circumcision within; and Christ, the rest, is the Lord of the Sabbath and the rest for the people of God. He who holds up Sabbaths and offerings, holds up circumcision and works, and so keeps people from the body and the head, in the signs and shadows, and so in the works of the law, which the law commands...Christ is the end of the law to everyone that believes, in every jot, and tittle, and print of it; and the signs and shadows that were held up by the law, Christ is the end of; yet the life of the law, the power, remains, though the outward changing shadows and things, end, the body is what ends them all.
The life and power of the law remains because the surviving law became the inner law that is on every man's heart.
I delight to do your will, O my God; yes, your law is within my heart. Psalm 40:8
William Dewsbury further explains the law on the heart:
Therefore, everyone that desires to know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent, turn your minds within, and examine your hearts, search and try your ways with the light that Christ Jesus has enlightened you withal, that shows you in your hearts what is sin, that pride and covetousness, lying and swearing, dissimulation (deception) and cheating, vain and idle communications, foolish jesting and unbelief, are sins. These things you know to be sins in your own consciences, by the righteous law of God in the heart, that reproves you for them in secret.
The inner law on every man's heart includes the moral core of the Mosaic law: do not steal, do not lie, do not covet, do not murder, do not commit adultery, (and all sexual immorality), honor your parents, do unto others as you would have them do to you, etc. The inner law's moral laws exceed the external, Mosaic moral laws for as Jesus said, he came to fulfill the law; and then He told us how it was to be strengthened, which the inner law reflects. This strengthened inner law can be understood to have been violated anytime you exhibit a fruit of the flesh, which includes: sexual immorality, uncleanness, covetousness, filthiness, foolish talking, jesting, profanity, adultery, lack of restraint, sorcery, hatred, arguments, jealousies, rage, selfish ambition, divisiveness, envies, murders, drunkenness, revelries (partying), evil thoughts, fornications, wickedness, deceit, blasphemy, pride, anger, boasting, flattery, immodesty, immorality, and foolishness. Any of these disqualify any man from heaven. A man innocent of all these fruits of the flesh is in full compliance with the rigid requirements of salvation stated in the scriptures: be perfect as the Father is perfect, Mat 5:48; be righteous as He is righteous, 1 John 3:7-10; be merciful as He is merciful, Luke 6:36. become pure as He is pure, 1 John 3:3; as he who has called you is holy, so you be holy in all manner of conduct, 1 Pet 1:15; walk as he walked, 1 John 2:6; and as he is, so are we in this present world, 1 John 4:17.
From the Word of the Lord within: " Be on your guard at all times to be sure your words do not reflect the fruits of the flesh."
Jesus knocks in every man's heart; he quietly pleads anonymously for us to depart from our evil, selfish ways. If we do not keep [practice, obey] his words, when we die, (the last day), we will remember the words of him pleading with us to depart from evil, and those words will judge us.
Margaret Fox replied strongly to the ministers and teachers of corruption in her time, who taught that the entire law of God was cancelled and replaced by just believing in Jesus.
You, who are in your carnal apprehensions of God, are in the world without God. You are alive without the law, and have not come to know the law yet, and are dead in sins and trespasses. You, that live in pleasure, are dead while you live. You live unto sin and so are free from righteousness. The law which is holy, just, and good, shall cut you to pieces. You have not yet come to know the law, nor what is lawful, which everyone passes through before they come to know the liberty of the sons of God - which law cuts down all your carnal apprehensions of God. Oh you blasphemer, do you say there is no such thing as lawful and unlawful, godliness or ungodliness? Would you lay waste the scriptures and make void the righteous law of God which takes hold of the transgressor? Would you trample upon the blood of the new covenant and count it an unholy thing? Oh, the day of the vengeance is coming upon you. The Lord God is clothed with vengeance against you and all such as you are. You who sit at the table of devils are shut out from the liberty of the sons of God and know not the condition that Paul has passed through. When you know that, it will be death and destruction to you. This you shall eternally witness, before ever you come to know the living God.