Romans 2:1-4 Therefore thou are inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou are that judges: for wherein thou judge another, thou condemn thyself; for thou that judge does the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And think thou this, O man, that judges them which do such things, and does the same, that thou shall escape the judgment of God? Or despises thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leads thee to repentance?
‘Thou are inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou are that judge: for wherein thou judge another, thou condemn thyself; for thou that judge does the same things’ Paul here addresses the Jews without naming them. He accurately describes them by their well-known disposition to justify themselves and condemn others (Luke 18:19). They are guilty of some of the same things God condemns in Romans 1:21-32, so they are liable to God’s just judgment on sin as much as Gentiles.
‘And think thou this, O man, that judge them which do such things, and does the same, that thou shall escape the judgment of God? Or despise thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leads thee to repentance?’ No one who sins – saved or not – will escape God’s judgment (Isa. 26:9-10). God will punish the righteous when they sin (Gal. 6:7-8), He will surely punish the ungodly. If the ones who are righteous are scarcely saved, there is no possible hope of sinners being saved (1Pet. 4:17).
‘Think’ [Greek: logizomai] to reckon or reason. First of 19 times in Romans (2:3, 26; 3:28; 4:3-24; 6:11; 8:18, 36; 9:8; 14:14).
‘Or despise thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leads thee to repentance?’ The question to the Jews were if they despised the good dealings of God and the superior advantages they have had, not knowing that those were designed to lead them to repentance.
‘Leads thee to repentance’ three things lead to repentance: (1) Goodness [Greek: chrestotes] the virtue and beneficence of God whereby He leads sinners to repentance (2:4; cp. 5:6-8). (2) Forbearance [Greek: anoche] the self-restraint of God whereby He tolerates sinners and permits them to live to be saved (2:4; 3:25; cp. Neh. 9:30). (3) Longsuffering [Greek: makrothumia] the leniency and patience of God whereby God’s mercy and goodness are extended to people to bring them to eternal reconciliation to Himself (2:4; 1Pet. 3:20; 2Pet. 3:15).
‘Repentance’ [Greek: metanoeo] to change one’s mind for the better. Not merely to forsake sin, but to change one’s attitude toward it and his love for it. Hence, it is demanded by God as a condition of forgiveness and grace (Matt. 4:17; Luke 13:3, 5; 15:7; 24:47; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 17:30). Repentance is one of the main themes of the Bible, being found 110 times from Genesis 6:6 to Revelation 16:11.
Seven original words for “repent” is used in Scripture: (1) Hebrew: nacham, to sigh, breathe strongly, to be sorry (Gen. 6:6; Ex. 13:17; Job 42:6; Jon. 3:10); (2) Hebrew: shuwb, to turn back (1Kin. 8:47; Ezek. 14:6); (3) Hebrew: nocham, regret (Hos. 13:14); (4) Hebrew: nichuwm, compassion (Hos. 11:8); (5) Greek: metanoeo, to change the mind for the better morally, to change the attitude toward sin (Luke 13:3); (6) Greek: metamellomai, to regret consequences of sin, not the cause (Matt. 27:3; 2Cor. 7:8); (7) Greek: metanoia, a real change of mind and attitude toward sin and its cause, not merely the consequences of it (Matt. 3:8, 11; 9:13; Luke 24:47).