Romans 2:1–16 (NKJV)
1 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. 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? 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.Romans 2:1-16
12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.
Paul writes a letter to the Romans that could be thought insensitive in modern day society. He is pronouncing judgment on those who live in sin, especially those who hypocritically judge others when they themselves are guilty of the same sins. Paul never was much of a politician. However, this is truth, albeit straight with no dilution. He speaks of how judgment will come on the Jew and the Greek. This theme of Jew and Greek being equal in the eyes of God continues throughout. Jews and Greeks can be saved. Jews and Greeks can be judged. Jews and Greeks have access to the gospel of Christ and its power to provide salvation. Jews and Greeks are subject to the same scrutiny and critique of God as well. So Paul asks the question of those who hypocritically challenge the ability of others to live for God by asking them if they hate the longsuffering and forbearance of God. He calls out their hard hearts and lets them know that their longstanding position in the church or even in the kingdom is not enough to seal for them a place of honor. Instead, there must be a daily continuance of doing good.
This “doing good” is not just adherence to the law, but rather a life lived to glorify God and walk in relationship with Christ. This is that to which we are called still today. Repent of self-seeking and disobedience. Shun the evil works of the flesh. How can I do that? By walking with Christ and seeking His face. In so doing, He will reveal Himself to you and you will be changed. You can live without judgment if you live in the grace of and in relationship with Christ!
Artwork from https://www.alittleperspective.com/romans-2-2016/