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Romans 2:17-3:8 Common English Bible (CEB)

Jews will be judged as well

17     But,
if you call yourself a Jew;
if you rely on the Law;
if you brag about your relationship to God;
18 if you know the will of God;
if you are taught by the Law so that you can figure out the things that really matter;
19 if you have persuaded yourself that you are:
        a guide for the blind;
        a light to those who are in darkness;
20         an educator of the foolish;
        a teacher of infants (since you have the full content of knowledge and truth in the Law);
21 then why don’t you who are teaching others teach yourself?
If you preach, “No stealing,” do you steal?
22 If you say, “No adultery,” do you commit adultery?
If you hate idols, do you rob temples?

23 If you brag about the Law, do you shame God by breaking the Law? 24 As it is written: The name of God is discredited by the Gentiles because of you.[a]

25 Circumcision is an advantage if you do what the Law says. But if you are a person who breaks the Law, your status of being circumcised has changed into not being circumcised. 26 So if the person who isn’t circumcised keeps the Law, won’t his status of not being circumcised be counted as if he were circumcised? 27 The one who isn’t physically circumcised but keeps the Law will judge you. You became a lawbreaker after you had the written Law and circumcision. 28 It isn’t the Jew who maintains outward appearances who will receive praise from God, and it isn’t people who are outwardly circumcised on their bodies. 29 Instead, it is the person who is a Jew inside, who is circumcised in spirit, not literally. That person’s praise doesn’t come from people but from God.

God’s faithfulness and justice

So what’s the advantage of being a Jew? Or what’s the benefit of circumcision? Plenty in every way. First of all, the Jews were trusted with God’s revelations. What does it matter, then, if some weren’t faithful? Their lack of faith won’t cancel God’s faithfulness, will it? Absolutely not! God must be true, even if every human being is a liar, as it is written:

So that it can show that you are right in your words;
    and you will triumph when you are judged.[b]

But if our lack of righteousness confirms God’s justice, what will we say? That God, who brings wrath upon us, isn’t just (I’m speaking rhetorically)? Absolutely not! If God weren’t just, how could he judge the world? But if God’s truth is demonstrated by my lie and it increases his glory, why am I still judged as a sinner? Why not say, “Let’s do evil things so that good things will come out of it”? (Some people who slander us accuse us of saying that, but these people deserve criticism.)

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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