New Living Translation
Even Gentiles, who do not have God's written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it.
King James Bible
For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
Darby Bible Translation
For when those of the nations, which have no law, practise by nature the things of the law, these, having no law, are a law to themselves;
World English Bible
(for when Gentiles who don't have the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are a law to themselves,
Young's Literal Translation
For, when nations that have not a law, by nature may do the things of the law, these not having a law -- to themselves are a law;
Romans 2:14 Parallel
CommentaryWesley's Notes on the Bible
2:14 For when the gentiles - That is, any of them. St. Paul, having refuted the perverse judgment of the Jews concerning the heathens, proceeds to show the just judgment of God against them. He now speaks directly of the heathens, in order to convince the heathens. Yet the concession he makes to these serves more strongly to convince the Jews. Do by nature - That is, without an outward rule; though this also, strictly speaking, is by preventing grace. The things contained in the law - The ten commandments being only the substance of the law of nature. These, not having the written law, are a law unto themselves - That is, what the law is to the Jews, they are, by the grace of God, to themselves; namely, a rule of life.
LibraryThe Same Necessary and Eternal Different Relations
that different things bear one to another, and the same consequent fitness or unfitness of the application of different things or different relations one to another, with regard to which the will of God always and necessarily does determine itself, to choose to act only what is agreeable to justice, equity, goodness, and truth, in order to the welfare of the whole universe, ought likewise constantly to determine the wills of all subordinate rational beings, to govern all their actions by the same …
Samuel Clarke—A Discourse Concerning the Being and Attributes of God
Councils of Ariminum and Seleucia.
Epistle xvi. From Felix Bishop of Messana to St. Gregory.
Entire Sanctification in Type.
In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right.
They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them.
They demonstrate that God's law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.
1 Corinthians 9:21
When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.
All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God's anger, just like everyone else.
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