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All who have sinned apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 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. 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. 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 on the day when, according to my gospel, God, through Jesus Christ, will judge the secret thoughts of all.
Something Every Teacher Understands
Off and on over the last thirty-five years, I’ve been a school teacher. During that time, I’ve taught history, civics, economics, geography, and sociology. But regardless of the subject, at least once a year, I’d find myself in this situation. I’ve given a test and during the review, some student decides to debate a particular question. And I’d generally remind him that we covered the material, and since I was really organized, I’d ask him if he remembered hearing me say something related to the question asked. Of course, after initially saying that he didn’t remember anything, generally he’d recognize that he did recall me saying something like that. But then he’d follow it with that wonderful statement: “But Mr. Rudiger, you didn’t say we needed to know it.” Now that’s what he’d say.
And I’ll tell you, I think that’s sort of like what Paul told the Romans. I mean, as he talked about the Jewish Law, he focused on why God would give these instructions to his people. You see, it wasn’t so that they’d have something that they might hear. Rather the Law was given so that the people could have a better understanding about what they might do. And it doesn’t matter whether a person is reading it printed on a page or senses it written on his heart, God has given us direction and guidance on how we might live a better life. And for that reason, we’d be wise to become doer of the Law and not just hearers.