Romans 2:5-16

“But according to your hardness and impenitent heart you treasure up to yourself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, Who will render to each according to his deeds; to those who with patient endurance in well-doing are seeking glory and honour and immortality: eternal life; but to those of contention, and who disobey the truth, but obey unrighteousness: indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man who performs evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Greek; but glory, honour, and peace to everyone who works good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

For there is no respect of persons with God.

For as many as have sinned without Law shall also perish without Law, and as many as have sinned in the Law shall be judged by the Law; for not the hearers of the Law are just with God, but the doers of the Law shall be justified

For when the Gentiles who have not the Law, by nature practise the things of the Law, these, not possessing the Law, are a law unto themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts; bearing witness with their conscience, and between one another, the thoughts accusing or else defending in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.”


Paul is warning those who presume to judge others’ sins while continuing in their own, that they shall not escape God’s judgement. In fact, whenever someone condescends to judge others without first addressing their own sins, they are heaping up judgement from God upon themselves, and there is nowhere for them to hide. The Jew cannot hide behind the Law, claiming impunity because of his relationship to the Abrahamic covenant; every Jew who sins will be judged by the Law he claims as his exemption from judgement. The Gentile cannot claim clemency because he is outside of the Law of Moses; God will judge him for his own sins and he will be found guilty of all, because as Paul explained in his opening words, men knew God, but did not prefer to retain God in their knowledge. Whether under the Law or outside of it, the testimony of the deity and almighty power of God fills all the world, and all men are without excuse and guilty before God whenever they sin against Him.

The Jew was not free from God’s judgement by virtue of possessing the Law. Rather he was condemned by the Law for his failure to keep it. By claiming his identity and connection to God on the basis of the Law, the Jew pronounced his own guilt.

The Gentile however was not free from God’s judgement by virtue of not having received the Law. Rather, he is judged for his sin as one not under the Law. But the Gentile who, having not received that Law, lives in accordance with the principles of the Law, he demonstrates by his conduct that God’s principles are written, not on tablets of stone, but upon his heart.