3 Then what’s the advantage of being a Jew? Is there any value in the ceremony of circumcision?2 Yes, there are great benefits! First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the whole revelation of God.[a]
3 True, some of them were unfaithful; but just because they were unfaithful, does that mean God will be unfaithful?4 Of course not! Even if everyone else is a liar, God is true. As the Scriptures say about him,
“You will be proved right in what you say, and you will win your case in court.”[b]
5 “But,” some might say, “our sinfulness serves a good purpose, for it helps people see how righteous God is. Isn’t it unfair, then, for him to punish us?” (This is merely a human point of view.)6 Of course not! If God were not entirely fair, how would he be qualified to judge the world?7 “But,” someone might still argue, “how can God condemn me as a sinner if my dishonesty highlights his truthfulness and brings him more glory?”8 And some people even slander us by claiming that we say, “The more we sin, the better it is!” Those who say such things deserve to be condemned.
All People Are Sinners
9 Well then, should we conclude that we Jews are better than others? No, not at all, for we have already shown that all people, whether Jews or Gentiles,[c] are under the power of sin.10 As the Scriptures say,
“No one is righteous— not even one. 11 No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. 12 All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.”[d] 13 “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies.” “Snake venom drips from their lips.”[e] 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”[f] 15 “They rush to commit murder. 16 Destruction and misery always follow them. 17 They don’t know where to find peace.”[g] 18 “They have no fear of God at all.”[h]
19 Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God.20 For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.
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