God’s Faithfulness

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

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

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

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

No One Is Righteous

What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage?(N) Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin.(O) 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](P)
13 “Their throats are open graves;
    their tongues practice deceit.”[c](Q)
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”[d](R)
14     “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”[e](S)
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](T)
18     “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”[g](U)

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

Righteousness Through Faith

21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God(AB) has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.(AC) 22 This righteousness(AD) is given through faith(AE) in[h] Jesus Christ(AF) to all who believe.(AG) There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,(AH) 23 for all have sinned(AI) and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified(AJ) freely by his grace(AK) through the redemption(AL) that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[i](AM) through the shedding of his blood(AN)—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished(AO) 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?(AP) 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.(AQ) 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too,(AR) 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.(AS) 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).

The Law and Sin

What shall we say, then?(A) Is the law sinful? Certainly not!(B) Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law.(C) For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”[a](D) But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment,(E) produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead.(F) Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life(G) actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment,(H) deceived me,(I) and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.(J)

13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good(K) to bring about my death,(L) so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual,(M) sold(N) as a slave to sin.(O) 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.(P) 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.(Q) 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.(R) 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[b](S) For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.(T) 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.(U)

21 So I find this law at work:(V) Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being(W) I delight in God’s law;(X) 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war(Y) against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin(Z) at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?(AA) 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!(AB)

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law,(AC) but in my sinful nature[c] a slave to the law of sin.(AD)

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Footnotes

  1. Romans 7:7 Exodus 20:17; Deut. 5:21
  2. Romans 7:18 Or my flesh
  3. Romans 7:25 Or in the flesh

24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me(A) has eternal life(B) and will not be judged(C) but has crossed over from death to life.(D)

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Paul Opposes Cephas

11 When Cephas(A) came to Antioch,(B) I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James,(C) he used to eat with the Gentiles.(D) But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group.(E) 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas(F) was led astray.

14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel,(G) I said to Cephas(H) in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew.(I) How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?(J)

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