Summary: This is the 3rd of 30 Studies on the Book of Romans
“Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. 2 But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things.
Paul had just mentioned how people had rejected God and had instead created their own gods to worship, and with that, had also embraced a lifestyle according to their evil desires which were in total contrast to the character of God. Not only so, but they also approved those who lived the way they did, so as to make their rebellious lifestyles seem less wrongful and more justifiable as well.
For those of us who don’t embrace other gods of our making and but yet continue to live in ways that are contrary to God’s character, Paul gives a warning to such by saying that we should not think for one moment that we will be excused if the way we live our lives is in total contrast to the faith we profess. He says that if anyone judges another, he is thereby judging himself as well, because if one is condemning another of a particular sin and committing that sin himself, then he is condemning himself as well.
3 And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
Paul goes on to say that it doesn’t matter whether we justify or condemn ourselves because our judgment is skewed anyway, but God’s judgment is based on truth and not marred by the deceitfulness of sin. So when God judges, He will judge based on facts and not on pretense or outward show. He goes on to ask two questions, the first being, whether such people who live dichotomous lives think they will escape the judgment of God. The second question being whether such people are taking advantage of the amazing length, breadth, depth, and width of God’s goodness, endurance, and patience of the Lord, not realising that God’s goodness was actually meant for them to repent from their evil ways and turn back to the Lord. In other words, he was saying that God’s decision to not bring punishment on them for their sinful ways was not an indication of His permission to continue in sin, but rather an opportunity for them to turn from their sinful ways.
5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: 7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.
He goes on to say that those who continue to remain unrepentant because their hearts have become so filled with sin, and hard against God, are actually laying up a different kind of treasure for themselves – the wrath of God. This will be revealed on the day when both the wrath of God and the righteous judgment of God will be revealed at the same time. Those who chose to follow God’s way will be rewarded, and those who chose to rebel against God and chose their own sinful ways will face the wrath of God. Each one will be repaid according to their deeds.
Those who choose to patiently and continually do good because they seek to glorify and honour from God and also seek immortality will be blessed with eternal life, and those who seek after nothing but that which please themselves, and who did not believe in, and obey the truth about God, but instead choose the unrighteous way of life, will receive God’s anger, and wrath, tribulation, and anguish. This goes for every such person who does evil – whether they are Jews or Greeks. But to those who choose to do what is good, they will have glory (in heaven), honour (from God), and peace (forever) - whether they are Jews or Greeks, because God is impartial and just, and therefore does not show favouritism.