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KJV Hebrews 9:14

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

KJV Romans 2:13-15

13 For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. 14 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: 15 Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;

  1. What is the difference between the law in the hearts of the Gentiles and the law that God promises to put in the hearts and thoughts?
  2. What is the essence of the law that is in the conscience of the Gentiles?
  3. What commandments does the law that God promises to put in the thoughts and hearts include?
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    Could you explain how Hebrews 9:14 relates to the matter of law please? Law is not mentioned in the Hebrews text so how could it connect with Romans? Also you appear to have mistakenly put "hearts of the law" when the KJ has "hearers of the law" (contrasting them with "doers of the law".) And on this site, only one question is supposed to be asked at a time. If you got a helpful answer to your main Q, you could then post a fresh Q for your Q.2 and another fresh Q for your Q.3. That might attract more contributors, as this is a Mighty Big Ask here!
    – Anne
    Jan 7 at 15:06
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    @Anne, I just now fixed several typos.
    – Dieter
    Feb 5 at 23:45

2 Answers 2

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Consider a gentile who has never heard of God. They live by their own conscience, knowing what is good and evil. When they realize they have done something wrong, they repent and never do it again. On the other hand, the Lord's people have been given the law, but that does not mean they never sin. Once they realize their sin, they repent and never do it again.

For question number one, the difference lies in the scenario between the God's people and the Gentiles, with one group knowing God and the other not. For question number two, the essence is to "repent and never do it again". Finally for question number three, Jesus gave us the two greatest commandments;

Matthew 22:34-40 NIV

34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

In the New Testament, the term "dead works" refers to Jewish tradition, which teaches that salvation is achieved by complying with the law. However, the authors of the NT disagreed that this is achievable, as everyone sin and no one is capable to comply fully with the law. Salvation relies on our faith in Jesus and through repentance to receive the grace of sin forgiveness.

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Salvation and unbelieving Jews/Gentiles

Jesus said:

“No one is good except One, God!” (Matt 19:17).

Paul wrote:

“so also death passed to all men, inasmuch as all sinned” (Rom 5:12).

So, without God, all have sinned and death passed to all men. Then no one, whether Jew or Gentile, can get saved without God. This is for sure.

Conscience

Conscience, of its own, could be faulty or evil (Tit 1:15; Heb 10:22). We need to develop good conscience by studying God’s spiritual commandments (Rom 2:18-20).

Even the Scripture quoted in the OP itself says that we need to “purge” our conscience from dead works through the blood of Christ.

So, no conscience will save any one. Only Jesus’ blood can absolve our sins.

Dead Works

Dead works are works that lead to death.

These are,

“unrighteousness, fornication, iniquity, covetousness, malice, being full of envy, murder, quarrels, deceit, evil habits, becoming whisperers, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, proud, braggarts, devisers of evil things, disobedient to parents, without discernment, covenant breakers, without natural affection, unforgiving, unmerciful” and “those practicing such things are worthy of death” (Rom 1:29-32).

Gentiles and Salvation

So, only the believing Gentiles who are called by God have a chance of salvation. They are grafted on to the cultivated olive tree (Rom 11:17). They are part of the commonwealth of Israel now:

at that time you were without Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers of the covenants of promise, having NO HOPE and without God in the world” (Eph 2:12).

Here, there is not even a remote hint that any Gentile can be saved by their ‘conscience’ without Christ, without God etc. All, Jew or Gentile, have to “purge” their conscience “through the blood of Christ”.

OP Question 1

There is no difference between the law in the hearts of the Gentiles and the law that God promises to put in the hearts and minds. They are the same according to the Scripture. The Ten Commandments (“My Laws” not Moses’ laws) written on stone in the first covenant are the same Commandments God prophesied through His prophets and apostles to be written in the hearts and minds through the Holy Spirit (Heb 10:16; Jer 31:33-34).

“For when nations (Gentiles) not having Law (the Gentiles never possessed the Law; it was entrusted to the Jews) do by nature (their new nature in the Holy Spirit – Eph 4:24) the things of the Law (the Law is spiritual, just, good, holy – Rom 7:12,14), they not having Law are a law to themselves, who show the work of the Law written in their hearts (crystal clear that these Gentiles are the called out saints of the 2nd Covenant according to God’s prophesy), their conscience (that is purged through the blood of Christ) witnessing with them” (Rom 2:14-15).

OP Question 2

The essence of the law in the conscience of the Gentiles is “love of God” that “has been poured out in” their “hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Rom 5:5).

“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not heavy” (1 John 5:3).

“Then love is the fulfillment of Law” (Rom 13:10).

“And this is love, that we should walk according to His commandments” (2 John 1:6).

OP Question 3

God prophesied that He will write His Laws (not Moses’ laws) in the thoughts and hearts.

"This is the covenant which I will covenant to them after those days, says the Lord: Giving My Laws on their hearts, and I (God Himself and not Moses) will write them on their minds" (Heb 10:16).

God’s Laws are the Laws that He Himself has written.

“He gave to Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God” (Exo 31:18).

Sorry, these were not written by Moses and hence do not belong to him; not Mosaic:

“And the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God (not of Moses); it was engraved on the tablets” (Exo 32:16).

God Himself thundered down these commandments directly to the people in a frightful incident involving fire, smoke, thunder and lightning.

God’s Laws are “perfect” (James 1:25) because after giving the Ten Commandments,

“And He (God) added no more” (Deut 5:22) to them.

Since the essence of the Law was “love out of a pure heart and a good conscience”, the Ten Commandments have two parts of love; love towards God (first 4 commands) and love towards fellow humans (next 6 commands).

Apostle Paul explains beautifully:

“For, "Do not commit adultery," "do not murder," "do not steal," do not bear false witness, "do not lust," and if there is any other commandment, in this word it is summed up, in the words, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Rom 13:9).

And Jesus says:

“There is not another commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:13) two.

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