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Romans 3Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Paul Answers an Objection

So what advantage does the Jew have? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? Considerable in every way. First, they were entrusted with the spoken words of God. What then? If some did not believe, will their unbelief cancel God’s faithfulness? Absolutely not! God must be true, even if everyone is a liar, as it is written:

That You may be justified in Your words
and triumph when You judge.[a]

But if our unrighteousness highlights[b] God’s righteousness, what are we to say? I use a human argument:[c] Is God unrighteous to inflict wrath? Absolutely not! Otherwise, how will God judge the world? But if by my lie God’s truth is amplified to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? And why not say, just as some people slanderously claim we say, “Let us do what is evil so that good may come”? Their condemnation is deserved!

The Whole World Guilty before God

What then? Are we any better?[d] Not at all! For we have previously charged that both Jews and Gentiles[e] are all under sin,[f] 10 as it is written:[g]

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;
all alike have become useless.
There is no one who does what is good,
not even one.[h]
13 Their throat is an open grave;
they deceive with their tongues.[i]
Vipers’ venom is under their lips.[j]
14 Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.[k]
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and wretchedness are in their paths,
17 and the path of peace they have not known.[l]
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.[m]

19 Now we know that whatever the law says speaks to those who are subject to the law,[n] so that every mouth may be shut and the whole world may become subject to God’s judgment.[o] 20 For no one will be justified[p] in His sight by the works of the law, because the knowledge of sin comes through the law.

God’s Righteousness through Faith

21 But now, apart from the law, God’s righteousness has been revealed—attested by the Law and the Prophets[q] 22 —that is, God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ,[r] to all who believe, since there is no distinction. 23 For all have sinned and fall short of the[s] glory of God. 24 They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Him as a propitiation[t] through faith in His blood, 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[u] the one who has faith in Jesus.

Boasting Excluded

27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law?[v] By one of works? No, on the contrary, by a law[w] of faith. 28 For we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God for Jews only? Is He not also for Gentiles? Yes, for Gentiles too, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then cancel the law through faith? Absolutely not! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 3:4 Ps 51:4
  2. Romans 3:5 Or shows, or demonstrates
  3. Romans 3:5 Lit I speak as a man
  4. Romans 3:9 Are we Jews any better than the Gentiles?
  5. Romans 3:9 Lit Greeks
  6. Romans 3:9 Under sin’s power or dominion
  7. Romans 3:10 Paul constructs this charge from a chain of OT quotations, mainly from the Psalms.
  8. Romans 3:12 Ps 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Ec 7:20
  9. Romans 3:13 Ps 5:9
  10. Romans 3:13 Ps 140:3
  11. Romans 3:14 Ps 10:7
  12. Romans 3:17 Is 59:7-8
  13. Romans 3:18 Ps 36:1
  14. Romans 3:19 Lit those in the law
  15. Romans 3:19 Or become guilty before God, or may be accountable to God
  16. Romans 3:20 Or will be declared righteous, or will be acquitted
  17. Romans 3:21 When capitalized, the Law and the Prophets = OT
  18. Romans 3:22 Or through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ
  19. Romans 3:23 Or and lack the
  20. Romans 3:25 Or as a propitiatory sacrifice, or as an offering of atonement, or as a mercy seat; 2Co 5:21; Heb 9:5
  21. Romans 3:26 Or and justify, or and acquit
  22. Romans 3:27 Or what principle?
  23. Romans 3:27 Or a principle
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