There is no partiality with God. For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law.
The judgment of God is absolutely impartial. Man tends to protect his family and friends. But God is not arbitrary or preferential in His judgment, which is “according to truth” (v.2). This also means, however, that God does take into account the different situations of mankind. Were they responsible to God because they either knew or could have known Him as the Creator? Or had they received, in addition, particular revelations of God?
The measure of responsibility, the measure of guilt and the measure of the punishment (but not the fact of the punishment of sin) depend on the measure of knowledge that God has entrusted. Therefore Jesus Christ said: “That servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with a few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more” (Luke 12:47.48).
The Jews had been entrusted with more than the heathen. Did they imagine that they would “escape the judgment of God” (v.3) as a consequence? Not at all! Any advantage in knowledge and privileges granted gives neither the Jews then nor ourselves today any preferential treatment in God’s judgment; it only increases our responsibility!