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Romans 3:21-6:23 New Living Translation (NLT)

Christ Took Our Punishment

21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses[a] and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

27 Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. 28 So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.

29 After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles? Of course he is. 30 There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles.[b] 31 Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.

The Faith of Abraham

Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What did he discover about being made right with God? If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God’s way. For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”[c]

When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners. David also spoke of this when he described the happiness of those who are declared righteous without working for it:

“Oh, what joy for those
    whose disobedience is forgiven,
    whose sins are put out of sight.
Yes, what joy for those
    whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.”[d]

Now, is this blessing only for the Jews, or is it also for uncircumcised Gentiles?[e] Well, we have been saying that Abraham was counted as righteous by God because of his faith. 10 But how did this happen? Was he counted as righteous only after he was circumcised, or was it before he was circumcised? Clearly, God accepted Abraham before he was circumcised!

11 Circumcision was a sign that Abraham already had faith and that God had already accepted him and declared him to be righteous—even before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who have faith but have not been circumcised. They are counted as righteous because of their faith. 12 And Abraham is also the spiritual father of those who have been circumcised, but only if they have the same kind of faith Abraham had before he was circumcised.

13 Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. 14 If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless. 15 For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it. (The only way to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break!)

16 So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe. 17 That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.”[f] This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.

18 Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!”[g] 19 And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb.

20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. 22 And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. 23 And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded 24 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.

Faith Brings Joy

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace[h] with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

Adam and Christ Contrasted

12 When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. 13 Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break. 14 Still, everyone died—from the time of Adam to the time of Moses—even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did. Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come. 15 But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. 16 And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. 17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.

18 Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. 19 Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.

20 God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. 21 So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Sin’s Power Is Broken

Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. 10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. 11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.

12 Do not let sin control the way you live;[i] do not give in to sinful desires. 13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. 14 Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.

15 Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! 16 Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. 17 Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. 18 Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.

19 Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy.

20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. 21 And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. 22 But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. 3:21 Greek in the law.
  2. 3:30 Greek whether they are circumcised or uncircumcised.
  3. 4:3 Gen 15:6.
  4. 4:7-8 Ps 32:1-2 (Greek version).
  5. 4:9 Greek is this blessing only for the circumcised, or is it also for the uncircumcised?
  6. 4:17 Gen 17:5.
  7. 4:18 Gen 15:5.
  8. 5:1 Some manuscripts read let us have peace.
  9. 6:12 Or Do not let sin reign in your body, which is subject to death.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Romans 3:21-6:23 New King James Version (NKJV)

God’s Righteousness Through Faith

21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all [a]and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified [b]freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a [c]propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Boasting Excluded

27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is [d]justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. 29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

Abraham Justified by Faith

What then shall we say that Abraham our father[e] has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was [f]accounted to him for righteousness.” Now to him who works, the wages are not counted [g]as grace but as debt.

David Celebrates the Same Truth

But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:

“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
And whose sins are covered;
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”

Abraham Justified Before Circumcision

Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, 12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised.

The Promise Granted Through Faith

13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be [h]sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

Faith Triumphs in Trouble

Therefore, having been justified by faith, [i]we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces [j]perseverance; and perseverance, [k]character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Christ in Our Place

For when we were still without strength, [l]in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

Death in Adam, Life in Christ

12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the [m]offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many [n]offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s [o]offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

18 Therefore, as through [p]one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one[q] Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Dead to Sin, Alive to God

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be [r]done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been [s]freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, [t]reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as [u]instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

From Slaves of Sin to Slaves of God

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were [v]delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness [w]for holiness.

20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit [x]to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the [y]gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 3:22 NU omits and on all
  2. Romans 3:24 without any cost
  3. Romans 3:25 mercy seat
  4. Romans 3:28 declared righteous
  5. Romans 4:1 Or (fore)father according to the flesh has found?
  6. Romans 4:3 imputed, credited, reckoned, counted
  7. Romans 4:4 according to
  8. Romans 4:16 certain
  9. Romans 5:1 Some ancient mss. let us have
  10. Romans 5:3 endurance
  11. Romans 5:4 approved character
  12. Romans 5:6 at the right time
  13. Romans 5:15 trespass or false step
  14. Romans 5:16 trespasses
  15. Romans 5:17 trespass
  16. Romans 5:18 Or one trespass
  17. Romans 5:18 Or one righteous act
  18. Romans 6:6 rendered inoperative
  19. Romans 6:7 cleared
  20. Romans 6:11 consider
  21. Romans 6:13 Or weapons
  22. Romans 6:17 entrusted
  23. Romans 6:19 unto sanctification
  24. Romans 6:22 unto sanctification
  25. Romans 6:23 free gift
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Romans 3:21-6:23 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Righteousness of God through Faith

21 But now, apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been revealed, attested by the Law and the Prophets.[a] 22 The righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ[b] to all who believe, since there is no distinction. 23 For all have sinned and fall short of the[c] glory of God. 24 They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as an atoning sacrifice[d] in his blood, received through faith, to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his restraint God passed over the sins previously committed. 26 God presented him to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so that he would be righteous and declare righteous[e] the one who has faith in Jesus.

Boasting Excluded

27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law?[f] By one of works? No, on the contrary, by a law[g] of faith. 28 For we conclude 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 one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then nullify the law through faith? Absolutely not! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

Abraham Justified by Faith

What then will we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found?[h] If Abraham was justified[i] by works, he has something to boast about—but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness.[j] Now to the one who works, pay is not credited as a gift, but as something owed. But to the one who does not work, but believes on him who declares the ungodly to be righteous, his faith is credited for righteousness.

David Celebrating the Same Truth

Just as David also speaks of the blessing of the person to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

Blessed are those whose lawless acts are forgiven
and whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the person
the Lord will never charge with sin.[k]

Abraham Justified before Circumcision

Is this blessing only for the circumcised, then? Or is it also for the uncircumcised? For we say, Faith was credited to Abraham for righteousness.[l] 10 In what way then was it credited—while he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? It was not while he was circumcised, but uncircumcised. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith[m] while still uncircumcised. This was to make him the father of all who believe but are not circumcised, so that righteousness may be credited to them also. 12 And he became the father of the circumcised, who are not only circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith our father Abraham had while he was still uncircumcised.

The Promise Granted through Faith

13 For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would inherit the world was not through the law, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 If those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made empty and the promise nullified, 15 because the law produces wrath. And where there is no law, there is no transgression.

16 This is why the promise is by faith, so that it may be according to grace, to guarantee it to all the descendants—not only to those who are of the law[n] but also to those who are of Abraham’s faith. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: I have made you the father of many nations.[o] He is our father in God’s sight, in whom Abraham believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things into existence that do not exist. 18 He believed, hoping against hope, so that he became the father of many nations[p] according to what had been spoken: So will your descendants be. 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered[q] his own body to be already dead (since he was about a hundred years old) and also the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver in unbelief at God’s promise but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 because he was fully convinced that what God had promised, he was also able to do. 22 Therefore, it was credited to him for righteousness.[r] 23 Now it was credited to him[s] was not written for Abraham alone, 24 but also for us. It will be credited to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered up for[t] our trespasses and raised for our justification.

Faith Triumphs

Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace[u] with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through him by faith[v] into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice[w] in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Those Declared Righteous Are Reconciled

For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. How much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by his blood, will we be saved through him from wrath. 10 For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation.

Death through Adam and Life through Christ

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned.[x] 13 In fact, sin was in the world before the law, but sin is not charged to a person’s account when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin in the likeness of Adam’s transgression. He is a type of the Coming One.

15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if by the one man’s trespass the many died, how much more have the grace of God and the gift which comes through the grace of the one man Jesus Christ overflowed to the many. 16 And the gift is not like the one man’s sin, because from one sin came the judgment, resulting in condemnation, but from many trespasses came the gift, resulting in justification.[y] 17 Since by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

18 So then, as through one trespass there is condemnation for everyone, so also through one righteous act there is justification leading to life for everyone. 19 For just as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 The law came along to multiply the trespass. But where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The New Life in Christ

What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply? Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we were buried with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness[z] of life. For if we have been united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be[aa] in the likeness of his resurrection. For we know that our old self[ab] was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin[ac] might be rendered powerless so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, since a person who has died is freed[ad] from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him, because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over him. 10 For the death he died, he died to sin once for all time; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.[ae]

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey[af] its desires. 13 And do not offer any parts[ag] of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness. 14 For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under the law but under grace.

From Slaves of Sin to Slaves of God

15 What then? Should we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? Absolutely not! 16 Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone[ah] as obedient slaves, you are slaves of that one you obey—either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching to which you were handed[ai] over, 18 and having been set free from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. 19 I am using a human analogy because of the weakness of your flesh.[aj] For just as you offered the parts of yourselves as slaves to impurity, and to greater and greater lawlessness, so now offer them as slaves to righteousness, which results in sanctification. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free with regard to righteousness.[ak] 21 So what fruit was produced[al] then from the things you are now ashamed of? The outcome of those things is death. 22 But now, since you have been set free from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification—and the outcome is eternal life! 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. 3:21 When capitalized, the Law and the Prophets = OT
  2. 3:22 Or through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ
  3. 3:23 Or and lack the
  4. 3:25 Or a propitiation, or a place of atonement
  5. 3:26 Or and justify, or and acquit
  6. 3:27 Or what principle?
  7. 3:27 Or a principle
  8. 4:1 Or What then shall we say? Have we found Abraham to be our forefather according to the flesh?or What, then, shall we say that Abraham our forefather found according to the flesh?
  9. 4:2 Or was declared righteous, or was acquitted
  10. 4:3 Gn 15:6
  11. 4:7-8 Ps 32:1-2
  12. 4:9 Gn 15:6
  13. 4:11 Lit righteousness of faith, also in v. 13
  14. 4:16 Or not to those who are of the law only
  15. 4:17 Gn 17:5
  16. 4:18 Gn 17:5
  17. 4:19 Other mss read He did not consider
  18. 4:22 Gn 15:6
  19. 4:23 Gn 15:6
  20. 4:25 Or because of
  21. 5:1 Other mss read faith, let us have peace, which can also be translated faith, let us grasp the fact that we have peace
  22. 5:2 Other mss omit by faith
  23. 5:2 Lit boast, also in vv. 3,11
  24. 5:12 Or have sinned
  25. 5:16 Or acquittal
  26. 6:4 Or a new way
  27. 6:5 Be joined with him
  28. 6:6 Lit man
  29. 6:6 Lit that the body of sin
  30. 6:7 Or justified; lit acquitted
  31. 6:11 Other mss add our Lord
  32. 6:12 Other mss add sin (lit it) in
  33. 6:13 Or members, also in v. 19
  34. 6:16 Lit that to whom you offer yourselves
  35. 6:17 Or entrusted
  36. 6:19 Or your human nature
  37. 6:20 Lit free to righteousness
  38. 6:21 Lit what fruit do you have
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Romans 3:21-6:23 New International Version (NIV)

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[a] 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,[b] 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.

Abraham Justified by Faith

What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”[c]

Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

“Blessed are those
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
    whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”[d]

Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11 And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12 And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.

16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.”[e] He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.

18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”[f] 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Peace and Hope

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[g] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[h] boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we[i] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned

13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.

15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[j] that we should no longer be slaves to sin because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Slaves to Righteousness

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[k] Christ Jesus our Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 3:22 Or through the faithfulness of
  2. 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).
  3. Romans 4:3 Gen. 15:6; also in verse 22
  4. Romans 4:8 Psalm 32:1,2
  5. Romans 4:17 Gen. 17:5
  6. Romans 4:18 Gen. 15:5
  7. Romans 5:1 Many manuscripts let us
  8. Romans 5:2 Or let us
  9. Romans 5:3 Or let us
  10. Romans 6:6 Or be rendered powerless
  11. Romans 6:23 Or through
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.

Romans 3:21-6:23 The Voice (VOICE)

21 But now for the good news: God’s restorative justice has entered the world, independent of the law. Both the law and the prophets told us this day would come. 22 This redeeming justice comes through the faithfulness of Jesus,[a] the Anointed One, the Liberating King, who makes salvation a reality for all who believe—without the slightest partiality. 23 You see, all have sinned, and all their futile attempts to reach God in His glory fail. 24 Yet they are now saved and set right by His free gift of grace through the redemption available only in Jesus the Anointed. 25 When God set Him up to be the sacrifice—the seat of mercy where sins are atoned through faith—His blood became the demonstration of God’s own restorative justice. All of this confirms His faithfulness to the promise, for over the course of human history God patiently held back as He dealt with the sins being committed. 26 This expression of God’s restorative justice displays in the present that He is just and righteous and that He makes right those who trust and commit themselves to Jesus.

In the incarnation and sacrificial death of Jesus, God is at work to extend salvation to those who fall under sin’s addiction. They are liberated from its power, cleansed of its stain. By “God’s restorative justice,” Paul means first the justice that belongs to God and reflects His character. God is just, fair, or in a word, righteous. But character is dynamic, not static. This means that God’s justice must express itself in some way. So it is in the nature of God’s justice that He acts to restore and repair a world that is not the way it should be. Above all, it is God’s saving actions through Jesus that constitute the gift of God’s restorative justice.

27 So is there any place left for boasting? No. It’s been shut out completely. And how? By what sort of law? The law of works perhaps? No! By the law of faith. 28 We hold that people are justified, that is, made right with God through faith, which has nothing to do with the deeds the law prescribes.

29 Is God the God of the Jews only? If He created all things, then doesn’t that make Him the God of all people? Jews and non-Jews, insiders and outsiders alike? Yes, He is also the God of all the outsiders. 30 So since God is one, there is one way for Jews and outsiders, circumcised and uncircumcised, to be right with Him. That is the way of faith. 31 So are we trying to use faith to abolish the law? Absolutely not! In fact, we now are free to uphold the law as God intended.

In light of all of this, what should we say about our ancestor Abraham? If Abraham was made right by performing certain works, then he would surely have something to brag about. Right? Not before the Creator God, because as the Scriptures say, “Abraham believed God and trusted in His promises, so God counted it to his favor as righteousness.”[b] Now, when you work a job, do your wages come as a gift or as compensation for your work? It is most certainly not a gift—you are only paid what you have earned. So for the person who does not work, but instead trusts in the One who makes the ungodly right, his faith is counted for him as righteousness.

Remember the psalm where David speaks about the benefits that come to the person whom God credits with righteousness apart from works? He said,

Blessed are those whose wrongs have been forgiven
    and whose sins have been covered.
Blessed is the person whose sin the Lord will not take into account.[c]

So is this blessing spoken only for the circumcised or for all uncircumcised people too? We remind you what the Scripture has to say: faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.[d]

10 So when was the credit awarded to Abraham? Was it before or after his circumcision? Well, it certainly wasn’t after—it was before he was circumcised. 11 Eventually he was given circumcision as a sign of his right standing, indicating that he was credited on the basis of the faith he possessed before he was circumcised. It happened this way so that Abraham might become the spiritual father of all those who are not circumcised but are made right through their faith. 12 In the same way, God destined him to be the spiritual father of all those who are circumcised as more than an outward sign, but who walk in our father Abraham’s faithful footsteps—a faith he possessed while he was still uncircumcised.

13 The promise given to Abraham and his children, that one day they would inherit the world, did not come because he followed the rules of the law. It came as a result of his right standing before God, a standing he obtained through faith. 14 If this inheritance is available only to those who keep the law, then faith is a useless commodity and the promise is canceled. 15 For the law brings God’s wrath against sin. But where the law doesn’t draw the line, there can be no crime.

16 This is the reason that faith is the single source of the promise—so that grace would be offered to all Abraham’s children, those whose lives are defined by the law and those who follow the path of faith charted by Abraham, our common father. 17 As it is recorded in the Scriptures, “I have appointed you the father of many nations.”[e] In the presence of the God who creates out of nothing and holds the power to bring to life what is dead, Abraham believed and so became our father.

18 Against the odds, Abraham’s hope grew into full-fledged faith that he would turn out to be the father of many nations, just as God had promised when He said, “That’s how many your descendants will be.”[f] 19 His faith did not fail, although he was well aware that his impotent body, after nearly 100 years, was as good as dead and that Sarah’s womb, too, was dead. 20 In spite of all this, his faith in God’s promise did not falter. In fact, his faith grew as he gave glory to God 21 because he was supremely confident that God could deliver on His promise. 22 This is why, you see, God saw his faith and counted him as righteous; this is how he became right with God.

23 The story of how faith was credited to Abraham was not recorded for him and him alone, 24 but was written for all of us who would one day be credited for having faith in God, the One who raised Jesus our Lord from the realm of the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our trespasses and raised so that we might be made right with God.

In God’s plan to restore a fallen and disfigured world, Abraham became the father of all of us, the agent of blessing to everyone. Jesus completes what God started centuries before when He established Abraham’s covenant family. Those who put faith in Jesus and call Him “Lord” become part of Abraham’s faith family. Because God is gracious, loving, and merciful, men and women from every corner of the earth are not only declared right, but ultimately are made right as well. It happens through God’s actions—not our efforts—in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus who was crucified for our misdeeds and raised to repair what has been wrong all along. So the promises of God made long years ago are being realized in men and women who hear the call of faith and answer “yes” to it.

Since we have been acquitted and made right through faith, we are able to experience true and lasting peace with God through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, the Liberating King. Jesus leads us into a place of radical grace where we are able to celebrate the hope of experiencing God’s glory. And that’s not all. We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance, which shapes our characters. When our characters are refined, we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God’s goodness. And hope will never fail to satisfy our deepest need because the Holy Spirit that was given to us has flooded our hearts with God’s love.

When the time was right, the Anointed One died for all of us who were far from God, powerless, and weak. Now it is rare to find someone willing to die for an upright person, although it’s possible that someone may give up his life for one who is truly good. But think about this: while we were wasting our lives in sin, God revealed His powerful love to us in a tangible display—the Anointed One died for us. As a result, the blood of Jesus has made us right with God now, and certainly we will be rescued by Him from God’s wrath in the future. 10 If we were in the heat of combat with God when His Son reconciled us by laying down His life, then how much more will we be saved by Jesus’ resurrection life? 11 In fact, we stand now reconciled and at peace with God. That’s why we celebrate in God through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed.

12 Consider this: sin entered our world through one man, Adam; and through sin, death followed in hot pursuit. Death spread rapidly to infect all people on the earth as they engaged in sin.

God’s gift of grace and salvation is amazing. Paul struggles to find the words to describe it. He looks everywhere around him to find a metaphor, an image, a word to put into language one aspect of this awesome gift. One of those is “reconciliation.” There is hardly anything more beautiful than to see two people who have been enemies or estranged or separated coming back together. When Paul reflects on what God has done through Jesus, he thinks about reconciliation. Before we receive God’s blessing through His Son, we are enemies of God, sinners of the worst sort. But God makes the first move to restore us to a right relationship with Him.

13 Before God gave the law, sin existed, but there was no way to account for it. Outside the law, how could anyone be charged and found guilty of sin? 14 Still, death plagued all humanity from Adam to Moses, even those whose sin was of a different sort than Adam’s. You see, in God’s plan, Adam was a prototype of the One who comes to usher in a new day. 15 But the free gift of grace bears no resemblance to Adam’s crime that brings a death sentence to all of humanity; in fact, it is quite the opposite. For if the one man’s sin brings death to so many, how much more does the gift of God’s radical grace extend to humanity since Jesus the Anointed offered His generous gift. 16 His free gift is nothing like the scourge of the first man’s sin. The judgment that fell because of one false step brought condemnation, but the free gift following countless offenses results in a favorable verdict—not guilty. 17 If one man’s sin brought a reign of death—that’s Adam’s legacy—how much more will those who receive grace in abundance and the free gift of redeeming justice reign in life by means of one other man—Jesus the Anointed.

18 So here is the result: as one man’s sin brought about condemnation and punishment for all people, so one man’s act of faithfulness makes all of us right with God and brings us to new life. 19 Just as through one man’s defiant disobedience every one of us were made sinners, so through the willing obedience of the one man many of us will be made right.

20 When the law came into the picture, sin grew and grew; but wherever sin grew and spread, God’s grace was there in fuller, greater measure. No matter how much sin crept in, there was always more grace. 21 In the same way that sin reigned in the sphere of death, now grace reigns through God’s restorative justice, eclipsing death and leading to eternal life through the Anointed One, Jesus our Lord, the Liberating King.

We arrive here, children of a common ancestor, Adam. As such, we have inherited his traits, physically and spiritually. Although our sin may be of a different sort than his, we sin no less than Adam. The proof of that is death. Adam opens the way for sin and death to pursue us and run rampant across the earth. But from the beginning, God has a plan to reverse the curse. At just the right moment in human history, Jesus arrives, a son of Adam and the Son of God. Through His faithful obedience to His Father, He challenges the twin powers of sin and death and defeats them. Sin no longer reigns unchecked. Death no longer has the last word.

How should we respond to all of this? Is it good to persist in a life of sin so that grace may multiply even more? Absolutely not! How can we die to a life where sin ruled over us and then invite sin back into our lives? Did someone forget to tell you that when we were initiated into Jesus the Anointed through baptism’s ceremonial washing,[g] we entered into His death? Therefore, we were buried with Him through this baptism into death so that just as God the Father, in all His glory, resurrected the Anointed One, we, too, might walk confidently out of the grave into a new life. To put it another way: if we have been united with Him to share in a death like His, don’t you understand that we will also share in His resurrection? We know this: whatever we used to be with our old sinful ways has been nailed to His cross. So our entire record of sin has been canceled, and we no longer have to bow down to sin’s power. A dead man, you see, cannot be bound by sin. But if we have died with the Anointed One, we believe that we shall also live together with Him. So we stand firm in the conviction that death holds no power over God’s Anointed, because He was resurrected from the dead never to face death again. 10 When He died, He died to whatever power sin had, once and for all, and now He lives completely to God. 11 So here is how to picture yourself now that you have been initiated into Jesus the Anointed: you are dead to sin’s power and influence, but you are alive to God’s rule.

12 Don’t invite that insufferable tyrant of sin back into your mortal body so you won’t become obedient to its destructive desires. 13 Don’t offer your bodily members to sin’s service as tools of wickedness; instead, offer your body to God as those who are alive from the dead, and devote the parts of your body to God as tools for justice and goodness in this world. 14 For sin is no longer a tyrant over you; indeed you are under grace and not the law.

Now sin and death no longer define us, but grace does: God’s favor has been given freely to us through His Son, Jesus, who liberates us from sin’s power.

15 So what do we do now? Throw ourselves into lives of sin because we are cloaked in grace and don’t have to answer to the law? Absolutely not! 16 Doesn’t it make sense that if you sign yourself over as a slave, you will have to obey your master? The question before you is, What will be your master? Will it be sin—which will lead to certain death—or obedience—which will lead to a right and reconciled life? 17 Thank God that your slavery to sin has ended and that in your new freedom you pledged your heartfelt obedience to that teaching which was passed on to you. 18 The beauty of your new situation is this: now that you are free from sin, you are free to serve a different master, God’s redeeming justice.

19 Forgive me for using casual language to compensate for your natural weakness of human understanding. I want to be perfectly clear. In the same way you gave your bodily members away as slaves to corrupt and lawless living and found yourselves deeper in your unruly lives, now devote your members as slaves to right and reconciled lives so you will find yourselves deeper in holy living. 20 In the days when you lived as slaves to sin, you had no obligation to do the right thing. In that regard, you were free. 21 But what do you have to show from your former lives besides shame? The outcome of that life is death, guaranteed. 22 But now that you have been emancipated from the death grip of sin and are God’s slave, you have a different sort of life, a growing holiness. The outcome of that life is eternal life. 23 The payoff for a life of sin is death, but God is offering us a free gift—eternal life through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, the Liberating King.

Footnotes:

  1. 3:22 Often translated “faith in Jesus”
  2. 4:3 Genesis 15:6
  3. 4:7–8 Psalm 32:1–2
  4. 4:9 Genesis 15:6
  5. 4:17 Genesis 17:5
  6. 4:18 Genesis 15:5
  7. 6:3 Literally, immersion, in a rite of initiation and purification
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

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