Romans 2:1-16

God judges all people in a right way

1 So I say this to each one of you: Do not judge other people. If you decide that someone else has done a bad thing, remember that you also do the same bad things. You are really saying that God should punish you also! When you judge someone, God will not punish them and then forgive you. 2 When God judges people, he does it in a way that is right and fair. He punishes people who do those kind of bad things.

3 I ask each of you again: ‘Do you speak against people who do bad things, but you do those same bad things yourself?’ Then God will certainly punish you and you will not go free. 4 Remember that God is very kind and patient with us. He waits a long time before he punishes us. Do you not think that that is important? You should understand that God is giving you a chance to change. He waits patiently, so that you may turn away from wrong things.

5 But you refuse to change the way that you live. You are not sorry about the wrong things that you have done. As a result, you cause God to become even angrier with you. So he will punish you even more on the day when he will judge everyone. On that day, he will show how angry he is against people who do bad things. Everyone will know that he judges people in a right way. 6 He will give to each person what they ought to have because of the things that they have done. 7 Some people continue patiently to do good things. They want to do what is right so that God will praise them. They want to live the kind of life which death will not spoil. God will cause people like that to live with him always. 8 But other people think only about themselves. They refuse to obey God's true message. Instead, they continue to do things that are wrong. God will be very angry with people like that and he will punish them. 9 God will punish everyone who does bad things. He will do that first to the Jews, and he will do it also to the Gentiles. There will be much trouble and pain for every person who does bad things. 10 But God will praise every person who does good things. He will make them great and they will have peace in their minds. He will do that first for the Jews, and he will do it also for the Gentiles. 11 God is always fair when he judges people, whoever they are.

12 The Gentiles do not have God's Law that he gave to Moses. If Gentiles do wrong things, God will punish them. But he will not use his Law when he judges the Gentiles. But the Jews do have God's Law. So, if Jews do wrong things, God will use his Law to judge them. The Law will show that they have done wrong things. 13 Who does God accept as right with himself? It is those people who obey his Law. It is not the people who only know his Law but do not obey them.

2:12Exodus 19-31 describes the time when God gave his Law to Moses.

14 The Gentiles do not have God's Law. But they may still do the right things that the Law teaches. They do right things because of what they themselves think is right. In that way they are showing that they have a certain law in their minds, even though they do not know God's Law. 15 Those people show that they know what is right. It is as if God has written his Law deep inside them. Their thoughts tell them the difference between what is right and what is wrong. Sometimes their thoughts say: ‘You did something that is wrong.’ And sometimes their thoughts say: ‘You did what is right.’

16 That is the message that I tell people. God knows everything that people think secretly. One day he will judge everyone. He has given Jesus Christ the authority to do that.