God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity

18 The wrath of God(A) is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.(B) 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made,(C) so that people are without excuse.(D)

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.(E) 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools(F) 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images(G) made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over(H) in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.(I) 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie,(J) and worshiped and served created things(K) rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.(L) Amen.(M)

26 Because of this, God gave them over(N) to shameful lusts.(O) Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.(P) 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.(Q)

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over(R) to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,(S) 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;(T) 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love,(U) no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death,(V) they not only continue to do these very things but also approve(W) of those who practice them.

God’s Righteous Judgment

You, therefore, have no excuse,(X) you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.(Y) Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches(Z) of his kindness,(AA) forbearance(AB) and patience,(AC) not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?(AD)

No One Is Righteous

What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage?(A) Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin.(B) 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.”[a](C)
13 “Their throats are open graves;
    their tongues practice deceit.”[b](D)
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”[c](E)
14     “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”[d](F)
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.”[e](G)
18     “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”[f](H)

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

Righteousness Through Faith

21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God(O) has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.(P) 22 This righteousness(Q) is given through faith(R) in[g] Jesus Christ(S) to all who believe.(T) There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,(U) 23 for all have sinned(V) and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified(W) freely by his grace(X) through the redemption(Y) that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[h](Z) through the shedding of his blood(AA)—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished(AB) 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?(AC) 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.(AD) 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too,(AE) 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.(AF)

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Footnotes

  1. Romans 3:12 Psalms 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Eccles. 7:20
  2. Romans 3:13 Psalm 5:9
  3. Romans 3:13 Psalm 140:3
  4. Romans 3:14 Psalm 10:7 (see Septuagint)
  5. Romans 3:17 Isaiah 59:7,8
  6. Romans 3:18 Psalm 36:1
  7. Romans 3:22 Or through the faithfulness of
  8. 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).

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