In this passage, Paul shows that both Jews and Gentiles need the gospel because they have all sinned. He begins by using the word, “therefore,” indicating that he is giving the logical conclusion, or result, of the preceding idea. In this case, he has just listed the sins that are committed by unbelievers. Therefore, when he tells those who judge others that they have no excuse, the implicit reason that they have no excuse is because they practice the very same things that are practiced by those whom they judge. Of course, Paul also plainly states this in the same sentence.
Having rebuked the judgmental attitude of his target audience, in verse 4, he states that God’s kindness leads people to repentance. The word, “repentance,” is a translation of the word, metanoia, which literally means, “a change of mind.” However, in the Bible, it does not mean a change of mind about a single issue, but rather a change of the entire mind, or a fundamental change in the way in which one thinks. In verse 5, Paul says that, because the hypocrites to whom he has been speaking refuse to repent, they are currently increasing the wrath of God, which will be unleashed upon them on the day of judgment.
In verse 7, Paul says that those who persevere in doing good to obtain glory, honor, and immortality will receive eternal life. In verse 8, he says that those whose ambitions are selfish, and do not obey the truth, or God’s Word, but are unrighteous, will receive God’s wrath and anger. In the next verse, he says that that wrath and anger will cause trouble and distress for those who do evil, beginning with Jews. However, in the next verse, he says that those who do good will receive glory, honor, and inner peace. According to verse 11, the reason that both Jews and Greeks receive the same things based upon their spiritual condition is that God is impartial. In other words, He does not treat people differently based upon their ethnicity.
In verse 12, Paul presents more proof that God is impartial in His judgments. The first proof is that all who have sinned, or have committed ungodliness and unrighteousness, without the Mosaic Law for the nation of Israel, will perish, or eternally die without the Law. However, those who have sinned while being obligated to obey the Law will be judged by the Law on judgment day. Paul explains why those under the Law will be judged by the Law, and therefore perish, in verse 13: those who only hear the Law are not just, or righteous, before God. Rather, only those who perfectly obey the Law will be justified, or considered to be righteous by God.
In verse 14, Paul begins to explain how Gentiles can be judged without the Law of Moses. The first reason is that they naturally do the things that the Law says to do. This reveals that they have a moral law within them, which is the essence of the Law. Therefore, their consciences, which serve as their law, will reveal whether their deeds were good or evil on judgment day.