Written in their hearts (Rom 2:15)

“These gentiles show

That what the law requires

Is written

In their hearts.

Their own conscience

Bears witness also.

Their conflicting thoughts

Accuse

Or perhaps excuse them.”

οἵτινες ἐνδείκνυνται τὸ ἔργον τοῦ νόμου γραπτὸν ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις αὐτῶν, συνμαρτυρούσης αὐτῶν τῆς συνειδήσεως καὶ μεταξὺ ἀλλήλων τῶν λογισμῶν κατηγορούντων ἢ καὶ ἀπολογουμένων,

Paul said that these gentiles show or prove (οἵτινες ἐνδείκνυνται) that what the law requires or the work of the law (τὸ ἔργον τοῦ νόμου) is written (γραπτὸν) in their hearts (ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις αὐτῶν).  Their own conscience (αὐτῶν τῆς συνειδήσεως) bears witness (συνμαρτυρούσης) also.  Their conflicting (καὶ μεταξὺ ἀλλήλων) thoughts (λογισμῶν) accuse (κατηγορούντων) or perhaps excuse (ἢ καὶ ἀπολογουμένων) them.  Only the Pauline letters used these words ἐνδείκνυνται, that means to indicate, prove, or show forth, and the word συνμαρτυρούσης, that means to testify or bear witness, and the word λογισμῶν, that means a reasoning, a thought, or a concept.  The heart shows the real intentions of people.  The gentiles or non-Jewish people know what the law requires because it is written in their hearts.  Their conscience bears witness to this natural law.  Thus, they face conflicts.  Sometimes, their conscience will accuse them of bad behavior, while at other times their conscience will excuse them of bad behavior.  This gets back to the fundamental question is how is your conscience formed or informed?  These non-Jewish people had to rely on the conscience of their heart for guidance in their behavior.  Sometimes, all was okay, but other times their conscience accused them.  Do you have an informed conscience?

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