You may be saying, "What terrible people you have been talking about!" 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 do these very same things.
And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things.
Do you think that God will judge and condemn others for doing them and not judge you when you do them, too?
Don't you realize how kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Or don't you care? Can't you see how kind he has been in giving you time to turn from your sin?
But no, you won't listen. So you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself because of your stubbornness in refusing to turn from your sin. For there is going to come a day of judgment when God, the just judge of all the world,
will judge all people according to what they have done.
He will give eternal life to those who persist in doing what is good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers.
But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and practice evil deeds.
There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on sinning -- for the Jew first and also for the Gentile.
But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good -- for the Jew first and also for the Gentile.
For God does not show favoritism.
God will punish the Gentiles when they sin, even though they never had God's written law. And he will punish the Jews when they sin, for they do have the law.
For it is not merely knowing the law that brings God's approval. Those who obey the law will be declared right in God's sight.
Even when Gentiles, who do not have God's written law, instinctively follow what the law says, they show that in their hearts they know right from wrong.
They demonstrate that God's law is written within them, for their own consciences either accuse them or tell them they are doing what is right.
The day will surely come when God, by Jesus Christ, will judge everyone's secret life. This is my message.
If you are a Jew, you are relying on God's law for your special relationship with him. You boast that all is well between yourself and God.
Yes, you know what he wants; you know right from wrong because you have been taught his law.
You are convinced that you are a guide for the blind and a beacon light for people who are lost in darkness without God.
You think you can instruct the ignorant and teach children the ways of God. For you are certain that in God's law you have complete knowledge and truth.
Well then, if you teach others, why don't you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal?
You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you do it? You condemn idolatry, but do you steal from pagan temples?
You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it.
No wonder the Scriptures say, "The world blasphemes the name of God because of you." a25
The Jewish ceremony of circumcision is worth something only if you obey God's law. But if you don't obey God's law, you are no better off than an uncircumcised Gentile.
And if the Gentiles obey God's law, won't God give them all the rights and honors of being his own people?
In fact, uncircumcised Gentiles who keep God's law will be much better off than you Jews who are circumcised and know so much about God's law but don't obey it.
For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the Jewish ceremony of circumcision.
No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not a cutting of the body but a change of heart produced by God's Spirit. Whoever has that kind of change seeks praise from God, not from people.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)