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Commentary » Romans 2:1-Romans 2:11 »

God’s Indictment of All Hypocrites

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It seems that this passage describes God’s indictment of all hypocrites, regardless of race or religion, culture or creed. Both Jews and Gentiles are included in this discussion, but the Gentile often appears in a better light than the Jew. Verse five points out the fact that the wrath of God is cumulative. If He waits to punish, and a man despises waiting, then he has added to the cause of wrath. It is very important that we realize that God has a reason for His delay.

We also find out what the hypocrite faces, and that is certain judgment. When the judgment of God comes we can be sure that it will be righteous judgment. This judgment will be according to His works. On the surface these verses may seem to be teaching that salvation is by works, and that eternal life can be earned by doing good things (vv. 7-10). However, based on other Scripture we know this is not true.

We must bear in mind that this passage has to do with the basis of God’s judgment. Throughout the Bible we find that judgment is according to our works, while salvation is by faith. Paul is not discussing how a person is saved, but how he will be judged: “according to his deeds” (v. 6).

  1. The reasons for a person’s behavior (vv. 7-8).
  2. The results of a person’s behavior (vv. 9-10).

The expression “to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile” highlights the fact that the more we know, the more responsibility we have. The hypocrite’s portion will be worse than the heathen’s, for the simple reason that his opportunities have been so much greater.


The Lord has privileged me to know much about Himself and about His Word. I must remember that the more I know, the more I will be held accountable. To know God’s Word is important but putting His Word into practice is so much more important. It is so easy to be a hypocrite.

Romans 2:1-11 (English Standard Version)

Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man-- you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself-- that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed. He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »