After Paul clearly presented his case for pagans being lost, without excuse, he tackled the culpability of the religious person who might agree wholeheartedly with his assessment of the pagans.
Paul says God will judge them as they judge the pagan. If that’s the basis, they would be condemned as well. No one fully lives up to the moral standard they were taught or determined for themselves. So they’re doubly without excuse. Their condemnation is worse, because they know better.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:1-2, “Judge not, or you will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” This isn’t theoretical. Paul says in verse 2, “We know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.”
If we pass judgment on others, while at the same time do the same things, who do we think we are? We won’t escape God’s judgment any more readily than they will. Just because a religious person has received special revelation from God, that privilege doesn’t exempt them from God’s judgment. God is interested in doing the law.
The riches of God’s kindness, tolerance and patience to those privileged with being the recipients of God’s special revelation requires the same response God looks for from a pagan who is exposed to natural revelation: humility, reverence and obedience. In short, God looks for repentance, faith and worship.
Am I more focused on the flaws of others and overlook my own short-comings?