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Romans 3 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

So, do Jews have anything that others don’t have? Do they get any benefit from being circumcised? Yes, the Jews have many benefits. The most important one is this: God trusted the Jews with his teachings. It is true that some Jews were not faithful to God. But will that stop God from doing what he promised? No, even if everyone else is a liar, God will always do what he says. As the Scriptures say about him,

“You will be proved right in what you say,
    and you will win when people accuse you.”

When we do wrong, that shows more clearly that God is right. So can we say that God does wrong when he punishes us? (That’s the way some people think.) Of course not. If God could not punish us, how could he judge the world?

Someone might say, “When I lie, it really gives God glory, because my lie makes his truth easier to see. So why am I judged a sinner?” It would be the same to say, “We should do evil so that good will come.” Many people criticize us, saying that’s what we teach. They are wrong, and they should be condemned for saying that.

All People Are Guilty

So are we Jews better than other people? No, we have already said that those who are Jews, as well as those who are not Jews, are the same. They are all guilty of sin. 10 As the Scriptures say,

“There is no one doing what is right,
    not even one.
11 There is no one who understands.
    There is no one who is trying to be with God.
12 They have all turned away from him,
    and now they are of no use to anyone.
There is no one who does good,
    not even one.”

13 “Their words come from mouths that are like open graves.
    They use their lying tongues to deceive others.”

“Their words are like the poison of snakes.”

14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and angry words.”

15 “They are always ready to kill someone.
16     Everywhere they go they cause trouble and ruin.
17 They don’t know how to live in peace.”

18 “They have no fear or respect for God.”

19 What the law says is for those who are under the law. It stops anyone from making excuses. And it brings the whole world under God’s judgment, 20 because no one can be made right with God by following the law. The law only shows us our sin.

How God Makes People Right

21 But God has a way to make people right, and it has nothing to do with the law. He has now shown us that new way, which the law and the prophets told us about. 22 God makes people right through their faith in[a] Jesus Christ. He does this for all who believe in Christ. Everyone is the same. 23 All have sinned and are not good enough to share God’s divine greatness. 24 They are made right with God by his grace. This is a free gift. They are made right with God by being made free from sin through Jesus Christ. 25-26 God gave Jesus as a way to forgive people’s sins through their faith in him. God can forgive them because the blood sacrifice of Jesus pays for their sins. God gave Jesus to show that he always does what is right and fair. He was right in the past when he was patient and did not punish people for their sins. And in our own time he still does what is right. God worked all this out in a way that allows him to judge people fairly and still make right any person who has faith in Jesus.

27 So do we have any reason to boast about ourselves? No reason at all. And why not? Because we are depending on the way of faith, not on what we have done in following the law. 28 I mean we are made right with God through faith, not through what we have done to follow the law. This is what we believe. 29 God is not only the God of the Jews. He is also the God of those who are not Jews. 30 There is only one God. He will make Jews[b] right with him by their faith, and he will also make non-Jews[c] right with him through their faith. 31 So do we destroy the law by following the way of faith? Not at all! In fact, faith causes us to be what the law actually wants.

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 3:22 their faith in Or “the faithfulness of.”
  2. Romans 3:30 Jews Literally, “circumcision.”
  3. Romans 3:30 non-Jews Literally, “uncircumcision.”
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

Romans 3 New International Version (NIV)

God’s Faithfulness

What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? Much in every way! First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God.

What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written:

“So that you may be proved right when you speak
    and prevail when you judge.”[a]

But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” Why not say—as some slanderously claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is just!

No One Is Righteous

What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11     there is no one who understands;
    there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
    they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
    not even one.”[b]
13 “Their throats are open graves;
    their tongues practice deceit.”[c]
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”[d]
14     “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”[e]
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16     ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”[f]
18     “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”[g]

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

Righteousness Through Faith

21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in[h] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[i] through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 3:4 Psalm 51:4
  2. Romans 3:12 Psalms 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Eccles. 7:20
  3. Romans 3:13 Psalm 5:9
  4. Romans 3:13 Psalm 140:3
  5. Romans 3:14 Psalm 10:7 (see Septuagint)
  6. Romans 3:17 Isaiah 59:7,8
  7. Romans 3:18 Psalm 36:1
  8. Romans 3:22 Or through the faithfulness of
  9. Romans 3:25 The Greek for sacrifice of atonement refers to the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant (see Lev. 16:15,16).
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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