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. Chapter 2.

The Right Judgment of God

1 You therefore have no defence—you who sit in judgement, whoever you may be—for in judging your fellow-man you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, are equally guilty. 2 It is admitted that God's judgement is rightly passed upon all who commit such crimes as these; 3 and do you imagine—you who pass judgement on the guilty while committing the same crimes yourself—do you imagine that you, any more than they, will escape the judgement of God? 4 Or do you think lightly of his wealth of kindness, of tolerance, and of patience, without recognizing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to a change of heart? 5 In the rigid obstinacy of your heart you are laying up for yourself a store of retribution for the day of retribution, when God's just judgement will be revealed, 6 and he will pay every man for what he has done. 7 To those who pursue glory, honour, and immortality by steady persistence in well-doing, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are governed by selfish ambition, who refuse obedience to the truth and take the wrong for their guide, there will be the fury of retribution. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who is an evil-doer, for the Jew first and for the Greek also; 10 and for every well-doer there will be glory, honour, and peace, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

11 For God has no favourites: 12 those who have sinned outside the pale of the Law of Moses will perish outside its pale, and all who have sinned under that law will be judged by the law. 13 It is not by hearing the law, but by doing it, that men will be justified before God. 14 When Gentiles who do not possess the law carry out its precepts by the light of nature, then, although they have no law, they are their own law, 15 for they display the effect of the law inscribed on their hearts. Their conscience is called as witness, and their own thoughts argue the case on either side, against them or even for them, 16 on the day when God judges the secrets of human hearts through Christ Jesus. So my gospel declares.

The Jews and the Law

17 But as for you—you may bear the name of Jew; you rely upon the law and are proud of your God; 18 you know his will; instructed by the law, you know right from wrong; 19 you are confident that you are the one to guide the blind, to enlighten the benighted, 20 to train the stupid, and to teach the immature, because in the law you see the very shape of knowledge and truth. 21 You, then, who teach your fellow-man, do you fail to teach yourself? 22 You proclaim, 'Do not steal'; but are you yourself a thief? You say, 'Do not commit adultery'; but are you an adulterer? You abominate false gods; but do you rob their shrines? 23 While you take pride in the law, you dishonour God by breaking it. 24 [ Is.52.5, Eze.36.20. ] For, as Scripture says, 'Because of you the name of God is dishonoured among the Gentiles.'

25 Circumcision has value, provided you keep the law; but if you break the law, then your circumcision is as if it had never been. 26 Equally, if an uncircumcised man keeps the precepts of the law, will he not count as circumcised? 27 He may be uncircumcised in his natural state, but by fulfilling the law he will pass judgement on you who break it, for all your written code and your circumcision. 28 The true Jew is not he who is such in externals, neither is the true circumcision the external mark in the flesh. 29 The true Jew is he who is such inwardly, and the true circumcision is of the heart, directed not by written precepts but by the Spirit; such a man receives his commendation not from men but from God.

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