The Letter to the Romans



6. Of law, sin, and secrets


Romans 2:12-16

12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.

13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law,

15 since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.

16 This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares. (NIV)


Key Words







Judged by the law

1. What are the implications of being judged under the law if one sins under the law? (see Deuteronomy 11:26-28; Romans 3:19; 6:14; 1 Corinthians 9:20-21; Galatians 3:10; 4:21-22, 30)


2. If people who "sin apart from the law" perish "apart from the law", by what and for what are they being judged? (see 1:18-20; 2:14-15; Amos 1:3-2:3


3. To what law is Paul referring, and who, at the time of his writing, did not have the law?


4. Who (or what kinds of people) are those who obey the law and are therefore declared righteous? (see Romans 3:10-12; 19-20; 23; James 1:22-25)


5. If no one, not even the Jews to whom the law was given, has been declared righteous for his law-keeping, what hope for God's acceptance did a Gentile have? (see Acts 10:34-35; 15:8-9)


6. What are the secrets that God will judge? (Ecclesiastes 12:14; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 3:13; Psalm 90:8; Job 12:22)


7. On the day of judgment, why will God judge men through Jesus Christ, and what exactly does that mean? (see Acts 10:42; 17:30-31; John 5:21-22; Romans 14:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Timothy 4:1-2; 1 Peter 4:3-5; Hebrews 4:15-16; 9:24-28)


8. Since everyone seems to be in a hopeless condition, unable to keep the law and thus be righteous, how will anyone be acquitted on the day of judgment? (see Romans 3:21-26


9. What does Paul mean when he talks about "my gospel"? (see Romans 16:25; 2 Timothy 2:8-9; Galatians 1:11-12)


Application and Commitment

10. What secrets in your life are likely to come under God's judgment?


11. What effect does the fact that God will judge you through Jesus have on you?


12. What do you need to face in your life instead of rationalize, offering it to Jesus for His healing and redemption?


13. Ask God to reveal to you your true need of Him and of his cleansing and righteousness. Ask him to make you repentant and to be your strength as you release your secrets and sins to him and turn away from them. Ask him to be Lord of your life and Lord of your secrets; ask him to forgive you for your hopeless sinfulness and to cover you with his righteousness. Praise him for changing you and for making you his by the indwelling of his Holy Spirit!


Copyright (c) 2003 Graphics Studio, Redlands, CA USA. All rights reserved. Posted April 24, 2003.
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