Week of September 16 - Day 1

Scripture to Memorize: Isaiah 29:13-14

And the Lord said:
“Because this people draw near with their mouth
    and honor me with their lips,
    while their hearts are far from me,
and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,
14 therefore, behold, I will again
    do wonderful things with this people,
    with wonder upon wonder;
and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,
    and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden.”

Day 1 Read: Romans 2:12-16

For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law.13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 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 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

Reflect: How is God going to judge those who knew the Law? How will God judge the people who never had the opportunity to hear the Law of God?

Consider: In the previous verse Paul has concluded that all men, both Jews and Gentiles, are equal before God. However, there is one evident difference: the Jews possess the Law, and the Gentiles do not. Paul deals with this problem in verses 12–16. He points out that God has spoken to all men, some through the Jewish Law and some through the law of conscience, and so all men must answer to him. The Greek text of this verse reads literally: “Whoever sinned without having the law will be lost without having the law; and whoever sinned in the law will be judged by the law.”1

Respond: What does it mean for the law to be written on your heart? How can reminding ourselves that we are law-breakers help us to grow in grace? How can it keep us from being too judgmental of others?

1 Barclay Moon Newman and Eugene Albert Nida, A Handbook on Paul’s Letter to the Romans, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1973), 38.