HEN we read Romans 1, we might begin to look out the window. Paul tells us that be the wrong response. Instead, we should look in the mirror. The same law that is used to condemn idolatry & homosexuality also condemns every other brand of sin. If we are proud, self-righteous & impatient, then are we ultimately any different than the worst of all heathen? We found entrance into the family of God through God's grace & goodness. It certainly was not due to any merit of our own. Shouldn't we rejoice to see His patience exercised on others?
So, the gospel-starved heathen are condemned by the violation their own conscience and by their resistance to the natural revelation of God (Romans 2:14-15), but the gospel-rich civilization is condemned just as well (or more so) by our calloused disregard for God's grace (Romans 2:12). Impenitence is impenitence, regardless of the setting.
The Jews of Paul's day had their own idea of what good and evil was. They defined righteousness by their own interpretation of Moses' law. For example, the Jews thought their circumcision (and all that they thought it represented) provided them with spiritual security. Paul taught that anyone could be a Jew, regardless of their heritage and regardless of any physical characteristic. If a Jew is one of God's children, and if it is what’s on the inside that makes you or me a true child of God, then in that sense if our hearts belong to God, we are true Jews (Romans 2:29).