1You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.2Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.3So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment?4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realising that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?5But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.6God ‘will repay each person according to what they have done.’ (Ps 62:12; Pr 24:12)7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honour and immortality, he will give eternal life.8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.9There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile;10but glory, honour and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.11For God does not show favouritism.12All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.13For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.14(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law.15They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)16This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
The Jews and the law
17Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God;18if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law;19if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark,20an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth –21you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal?22You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?23You who boast in the law, do you dishonour God by breaking the law?24As it is written: ‘God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.’ (Isa 52:5; Eze 36:20; Eze 36:22)25Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised.26So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised?27The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a law-breaker.28A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical.29No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.