God’s Judgment of Sin
1You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. 2And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. 3Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? 4Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
5But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. 6He will judge everyone according to what they have done. 7He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. 8But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness. 9There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. 10But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. 11For God does not show favoritism.
12When the Gentiles sin, they will be destroyed, even though they never had God’s written law. And the Jews, who do have God’s law, will be judged by that law when they fail to obey it. 13For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight. 14Even 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. 15They 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. 16And this is the message I proclaim—that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life.
The Jews and the Law
17You who call yourselves Jews are relying on God’s law, and you boast about your special relationship with him. 18You know what he wants; you know what is right because you have been taught his law. 19You are convinced that you are a guide for the blind and a light for people who are lost in darkness. 20You think you can instruct the ignorant and teach children the ways of God. For you are certain that God’s law gives you complete knowledge and truth.
21Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal? 22You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery? You condemn idolatry, but do you use items stolen from pagan temples? 23You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it. 24No wonder the Scriptures say, “The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.”
25The Jewish ceremony of circumcision has value only if you obey God’s law. But if you don’t obey God’s law, you are no better off than an uncircumcised Gentile. 26And if the Gentiles obey God’s law, won’t God declare them to be his own people? 27In fact, uncircumcised Gentiles who keep God’s law will condemn you Jews who are circumcised and possess God’s law but don’t obey it.
28For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the ceremony of circumcision. 29No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.