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19 We know that whatever the Scriptures say applies to everyone under their influence, and no one can say a thing. The whole world is brought under the judgment of God. 20 Not one person can have God’s approval by any effort to follow the laws in the Scriptures. These laws show what sin is.

God Gives Us His Approval as a Gift

21 Now, the way to receive God’s approval has been made plain in a way other than the laws in the Scriptures. Moses’ Teachings and the Prophets tell us this. 22 Everyone who believes has God’s approval through faith in Jesus Christ.

There is no difference between people. 23 Because all people have sinned, they have fallen short of God’s glory. 24 They receive God’s approval freely by an act of his kindness [a] through the price Christ Jesus paid to set us free ⌞from sin⌟. 25 God showed that Christ is the throne of mercy where God’s approval is given through faith in Christ’s blood. In his patience God waited to deal with sins committed in the past. 26 He waited so that he could display his approval at the present time. This shows that he is a God of justice, a God who approves of people who believe in Jesus.

27 So, do we have anything to brag about? Bragging has been eliminated. On what basis was it eliminated? On the basis of our own efforts? No, indeed! Rather, it is eliminated on the basis of faith. 28 We conclude that a person has God’s approval by faith, not by his own efforts.

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Footnotes

  1. 3:24 Or “grace.”

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