Religious Trap #2 – Covert not Overt

Romans 2:14-16 – For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

Throughout the Bible, when there is a dispute, it is required that two or three witnesses testify as to the truth. When we stand before God for judgement at the end of this life, the same will be true.

The first witness will be God Himself who sees and knows all of our life. The second witness will be our conscience that God placed within us to know right and wrong even if we don’t know God. The third witness will be the Word or law of God. What Paul is saying is that everyone has revelation from God, with some people having more than others.

What is curious about the conscience is how people will deny a universal Law or standard of right and wrong established by God the Law Giver when they are guilty of wrongdoing, but then appeal to a universal law when they feel violated by the wrongdoing of others. We are seeing this play out constantly as every day seems to have the moral outrage issue of the day. People who deny any universal sense of right and wrong established by moral laws will be the first to cry out for justice when they sense something wrong has occurred. Why does this hypocrisy happen continually? Because God has given us a conscience and we know something about right and wrong even if we don’t know the Someone who gave us our conscience.

The truth is God will judge everyone – them and us – by His two witnesses of conscience and Scripture. This judgment will include our “secrets”.

We all sin, just in different ways. Some people’s sin is overt – they don’t pretend to hide it but instead simply flaunt it by letting everyone know of their latest escapades, complete with photos on social media to brag about being bad. Religious people, however, are more covert. They sin too, but they just do it in secret where only God can see what they are truly doing. This was the case with Judas Iscariot who was a sinner that hid his thievery from and betrayal of Jesus Christ for years. Then, Judas was exposed and judged by Jesus. The same fate awaits all religious people who ignore the two witnesses God has given us and persist to publicly pretend to be pious but privately pursue sin that only God sees.

Do you tend to be more of a covert person or more of an overt person?  

To find the free Romans study guide for individuals and small groups, hear Pastor Mark’s entire sermon series on Romans, or find a free mountain of Bible teaching visit or download the realfaith app.

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