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July 14, 2003

What Is Good

Romans 2:13-15
13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)

There's so much to bite off in Romans that it sems a little silly to make a short devotional comment. I really need to do some deeper study in the book. Nevertheless, I'm intrigued by this passage.

I need to remove the issue of "the law" to the orginal audience to process what is being said. I think we're talking about all men having a natural inclination to please God. This would account for the "good deeds" of those who do not know God, but have actions that honor Him in thier charity. And that man's concsience seves as a compass that points to God. I'm not talking about an "inclusion theology." The question is how to use this natural inclination to help people see thier desire to please God and thier need for God. Since God has written His law on the hearts of all men, and mankind has been created in the image of God, then there exists an inner confirmation of that which is good and right and true. The inherent goodness of mankind only exists because of these factors.

It's so interesting that mankind so easily takes credit for our own goodness, but blame God for his disinterest in and even causing the trouble found in the world (war, famine, etc.). Really, it's the opposite that is true. This is another example of how our thinking is futile and our hearts have been darkened (1:21).

Lord, help me to help those around me see that what is good in thier lives is what is most like you. And that this understanding would open thier hearts to respond to reconcile with you.

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