When I write articles for this website it is because the Holy Spirit lays it on my heart. These articles are much more than a post of my feelings on a blog. Most of the time it is intense research whose purpose is to be a help to anyone who is searching for truth in a certain area. Once I begin writing, it is as if the floodgates are opened as the resources come flooding in. I then have to compile the information and arrange it so it can be concise and have the desired effect the Lord intends it for.
Lately it has been Romans 2:13 that has been on my mind and the three verses that follow it. In the King James Version Romans 2:13 says:
For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
When rightly dividing the Word of God, it is clear that Paul is referring to the time before Jesus and the gospel. He is simply appealing to his fellow Jews by reminding them that they may think they were special because they were given the written law directly by God, but the Gentiles have a conscience just like everyone else and this helps them to abide by nature the written law. We know that this time of ignorance is no longer overlooked:
God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now He commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to Him. (Acts 17:30 NLT)
He has enabled us to be ministers of His new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant (law) ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:6 NLT)
With that in mind, the right way to interpret Paul in Romans 2:13 is, “Having the law is not enough, you have to keep it – and none of you can!” It is impossible for imperfect man to deliver a lifetime of perfect performance. Paul is not calling us to attempt the impossible; he’s trying to get us to face reality and admit defeat. There is no hope for those who try to keep the law:
Therefore, by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight. (Romans 3:20a KJV))
The Book of Romans was composed by the Apostle Paul to explain that salvation is offered only through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul wrote to both Jews and Gentiles alike. In chapter 1 he explains how low man can go in sin even though God’s invisible qualities are visible in His creation and people still refuse to acknowledge Him. In chapter 2 he points out that everyone has a conscience, it’s just that God chose the Jews to give it in written form, which we know as the law, as a temporary forerunner to the gospel. In chapter 3 we are clearly told that Jew and Gentiles have all sinned and fallen short. Very simply, in that sinful state, all are destined for hell. The only hope is for those sins to be covered by the blood of Jesus. All mankind must make a conscience decision for salvation:
For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are. But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Romans 3:20-23 NLT)
When we get to Romans chapter 10, Paul tells us how we can make that conscious decision for salvation:
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 NLT)
Anyone who does not make that conscious decision is condemned already:
There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. (John 3:18, 19 NLT)
We are firmly warned not to neglect this great salvation:
So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus himself and then delivered to us by those who heard him speak? (Hebrews 2:3 NLT)
We are also firmly warned not to mess with this great salvation declared by the true gospel:
Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News (gospel) than the one we preached to you. I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed. (Galatians 1:8, 9 NLT)
Why does the Bible doubly state that a person should be cursed if they mess with the gospel? Think about it. Jesus took off His heavenly robe and literally became God in the flesh. He suffered, died, was buried and rose again because he loved us. His blood was most precious:
For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. (1 Peter 1:18, 19 NLT)
Below I have posted the link to an interview with Billy Graham where he grossly misrepresents the true gospel by telling us that there will be people from all other religions who fulfill by nature Romans 2:13-16. But as you can clearly see from above that this just is not truth in the light of the gospel. What Billy Graham states in the interview is nothing more than a false gospel that is condemned and cursed by the Bible itself.