Romans 2: 12-16
Jesus lives in every heart.
He lives in the heart of the poet; the craftsman; the servant and, even the criminal.
That it is harder to find Jesus in the arid clay of a criminals’ heart than it is to find him in the softer loam of a poets’ heart in no way negates the fact that Jesus is in residence there. Jesus is the ‘Nature Boy’ ‘who lives in each of us. He is the soul of our conscience, the essence of our morality.
Gentiles, who “do not have the (Mosaic) law” either acknowledge the Grace of God when they do “by nature” the things required by the law, or repudiate this Grace by judging others and being stubbornly unrepentant of their own shortcomings as sinners. Jews, in the same manner, either abide by the the laws communicated by Moses, or repudiate them out of pride or other sinful acts.
Thus, the law and its’ final judgement is universal, and does not differ according to ones’ identity as a Jew or a Gentile. Whether written on tablets of stone, or “written in their hearts”, adherence to basic precepts of loving God and loving our neighbors as fellow sinners will result in favor with God on the day of judgement.
That day is coming. It is crucial that we understand the ‘nature ‘of this judgement.
God, though impartial, will not be wearing a blindfold on that day.
He will not be holding a balance scale aloft in his upraised arm. He will not be weighing sins. He will not be judging the extent to which those sins are counterbalanced by “good works”. After all….we are all sinners to begin with.
He will simply look into the heart of each of us. He will “judge the secrets of human hearts”. If these ‘secrets’ demonstrate that our “conflicting thoughts” have resulted in remorse or shame for our transgressions, this remorse and shame will “defend” us.
If, however, our “conflicting thoughts” are those of pride, envy or of deeming our transgressions as somehow justified by a sense of entitlement due to rank, or even of ‘good works’, this pride will “accuse” us.
Thus, the source of our salvation will not be the amount; the gravity; or even the depravity of our sins. The source of our salvation will be our acknowledgement of Jesus in our hearts and of our sense of morality. That we regret our lives, however sinful, shows our understanding not of ‘morals’, (for morals may differ), but of a“morality” which must have come from an ultimate law-giver, and which could not have come from genetics; education; chance; or even evolution.
That we all have a visceral sense of what we ‘ought’ or ‘ought not’ to have done with our lives is, to me, the ultimate and incontrovertible proof that God exists; that his Son lives in us; and that the Holy Spirit is His ‘spark’ in all of us.