“You 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.” Romans 2:1
Paul in chapter one had just finished describing the ungodliness and unrighteousness of humanity in our rejection of God. These sins are what happen when we reject God. The Jews would applaud Paul’s condemnation of the Gentiles. The Jewish nation and religious pride encouraged them to despise the Gentiles and have nothing to do with them. Paul was talking to the Jews as we start into chapter two. Paul used this judgmental attitude to prove the quilt of the Jews, for the very thing they condemned in the Gentiles, they themselves were practicing. The Jews felt that they were free from judgment because they were God’s chosen people. But Paul affirmed that God’s election of the Jews made their responsibility and accountability even greater.
God’s judgment is according to truth. He does not have one standard for the Jews and another for the Gentiles. As we read Paul’s list of sins, we cannot escape the fact that each person is guilty of at least one of them. When the Jews condemned the Gentiles for their sins, the Jews were really condemning themselves. Read what Jesus had to say about Jews that felt they were more spiritual than the Gentiles. “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18”10-14) Today we see many Christian acting just like the Jews thinking that we are better than someone else. Paul is telling us that we are all sinners with no excuse.