The Jews had been guilty of self-righteousness and being judgmental of the Gentiles. They had also indulged in the same unrighteous deeds that Paul had listed. He pointed out that whoever judges another when he is guilty of the same sins condemns himself.
God is not partial in His judgments. The Jews had a false sense of security in that they believed that they were above others and would escape God’s wrath for their sins. Paul pointed out that God “will render to each one according to his deeds.”
Those who seek to do good will receive eternal life, glory, honor and peace. Indignation, wrath, tribulation and anguish will be the punishment for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth. Jews and Gentiles alike will receive their reward or punishment according to the righteous and impartial judgment of God.
Jews lived under the Mosaic Law and their obedience and sins were made known through that law. Gentiles who were not proselytes but lived outside Moses’ law would also be accountable for their sins and judged by God. If they understood from their hearts and obeyed the law and its rules, they would be approved even though the law had not been given to them.
According to Paul, the Jews claimed that they knew all of the law and that they were confident to guide the Gentiles whom they considered to be blind and in darkness. Their problem was that even though they taught against various sins, they were guilty of committing those very things. They taught others but did not teach themselves, being only hearers and not doers of the law. He said that the name of God was blasphemed among the Gentiles because of them.
Jews took great pride in being set apart as God’s children by circumcision. Paul pointed out that if they disobeyed His law, their circumcision meant nothing in their relationship to God. Uncircumcised Gentiles who kept the law were more pleasing to God than the hypocritical Jews.
Paul explained that a Jew (true child of God through Abraham) is one whose circumcision is of cutting off the sins of the heart (spiritually) and not of the flesh. The Jews loved to receive the praise of men. Paul said that the spiritual Jew would receive his praise from God and not from man.