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Reformation Study Bible – Rom 2:1–16
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Rom 2:1–16

2:1–16 In what follows, Paul turns to an imaginary representative of a real and identifiable group of people. Although he specifically mentions Jews only at v. 17, he probably has them in mind already. They agree with his statement about God’s wrath, but assume they stand outside of it (hence his stern warning in v. 5). But the nature of this presumption, if not its specific form, is not limited to Jews. In this context Paul sets forth the principles of the divine judgment all must face. It is based on truth (v. 2) and marked by righteousness (v. 5). It is according to works (v. 6), impartial in nature (v. 11), and executed through Christ (v. 16). Such judgment will bring agonizing ruin to all sinners (vv. 8, 9).