Romans 2:12-16 / A Matter of Conscience (Sermon – Notes and Audio)

Posted on June 6, 2013


This is the twelfth in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Romans. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the morning of June 2, 2013. This message deals with the God’s judgment and human conscience. This contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes and a study outline. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

AUDIO – Listen Now:


Rom 2_12-16 Outline


Romans 2:12-16

Paul is still speaking of God’s final judgment of the unbelievers.

God will judge unbelievers according to the knowledge they have received, which means there will be different levels of punishment in hell.

Luke 12:47-48

God’s judgment will be fair. It will be based on what the servants know of God’s will.

This is not to suggest that the more ignorant we are, the easier time we will have at the Judgment Seat of Christ!

Remember, all are without excuse.

Romans 1:20

Romans 2:1

What Jesus is stating in Luke is a general principle: the more we have from God, the greater our accountability before God.

This is the same point made by James, to be doers of the word, not just hearers.

James 1:22-25

Notice that James says obedience will bring blessing, not salvation.

Reading the Law was a regular part of each synagogue service, so that Jews were those who hear the Law.

Paul’s purpose is to undercut the position of those Jews who were counting on their (limited) obedience to the law for acceptance with God.

However, one’s compliance with the law would have to be perfect, and that is impossible for us.

James 2:10

Romans 3:28

Galatians 2:16

Since they were not able to perfectly keep the law, they would not be justified. They had placed their faith in the law rather than Christ.

We all know unsaved people who try to live a moral life. God has instilled in each person a conscience.

Some people may successfully sear their conscience, but they are not without one. They have to have a conscience in order to sear it.

1 Timothy 4:1-3

This same conscience will also condemn those without faith. Their conscience will bear witness against them, and they will have no excuses.

Conscience is an important part of human nature, but it is not an absolutely trustworthy indicator of what is right.

One’s conscience can be “good”

Acts 23: 1

1 Tim. 1: 5


1 Tim. 3: 9

2 Tim. 1: 3

but it can also be “evil”

Heb. 10: 22


Titus 1: 15


1 Cor. 8:12

and “seared”

1 Tim. 4: 2

All people need to trust the Lord Jesus Christ so that “the blood of Christ” might “cleanse [THEIR] consciences

Heb. 9: 14

Nothing will be hidden from God.

Luke 8:17

All things will be judged according to the dictates of the Gospel.

If you traveled around the world, you would find evidence in every society and culture of God’s moral law.

For example, all cultures prohibit murder, and yet in all societies that law has been broken.

We belong to a stubborn, sinful race.

We know what is right, but we insist on doing what is wrong.

But before we can focus on doing right, we must first place our faith in Christ.

Only by His power, can we live a God-honoring, faithful and obedient life.

Posted in: Sermons