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The Example of Abraham

What then are we to say was gained by[a] Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.(A) For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed[b] God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”(B) Now to one who works, wages are not reckoned as a gift but as something due.(C) But to one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness. So also David pronounces a blessing on those to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works:

“Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven
    and whose sins are covered;(D)
blessed is the one against whom the Lord will not reckon sin.”

Is this blessing, then, pronounced only on the circumcised or also on the uncircumcised? We say, “Faith was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness.” 10 How then was it reckoned to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after but before he was circumcised. 11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith[c] while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the ancestor of all who believe[d] without being circumcised and who thus have righteousness reckoned to them,(E) 12 and likewise the ancestor of the circumcised who are not only circumcised but follow the example of the faith that our ancestor Abraham had before he was circumcised.

God’s Promise Realized through Faith

13 For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith.(F) 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law, neither is there transgression.(G)

16 For this reason the promise depends on faith, in order that it may rest on grace, so that it may be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (who is the father of all of us,(H) 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”), in the presence of the God in whom he believed,[e] who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.(I) 18 Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already[f] as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), and the barrenness of Sarah’s womb.(J) 20 No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.(K) 22 Therefore “it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” 23 Now the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone(L) 24 but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe[g] in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,(M) 25 who was handed over for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.(N)

Results of Justification

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we[h] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,(O) through whom we have obtained access[i] to this grace in which we stand, and we[j] boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.(P) And not only that, but we[k] also boast in our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance,(Q) and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.(R)

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.(S) Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.(T) Much more surely, therefore, since we have now been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God.[l](U) 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life.(V) 11 But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Adam and Christ

12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned(W) 13 for sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin in the likeness of Adam, who is a pattern of the one who was to come.(X)

15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many. 16 And the gift is not like the effect of the one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the gift following many trespasses brings justification. 17 If, because of the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

18 Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all. 19 For just as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so through the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 But law came in, so that the trespass might increase, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,(Y) 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so grace might also reign through justification leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Dying and Rising with Christ

What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may increase?(Z) By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it?(AA) Do you not know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?(AB) Therefore we were buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.(AC)

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, so we might no longer be enslaved to sin.(AD) For whoever has died is freed[m] from sin. But if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.(AE) 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all, but the life he lives, he lives to God.(AF) 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.(AG)

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal bodies, so that you obey their desires.(AH) 13 No longer present your members to sin as instruments[n] of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments[o] of righteousness.(AI) 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.(AJ)

Slaves of Righteousness

15 What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that, if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?(AK) 17 But thanks be to God that you who were slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted(AL) 18 and that you, having been set free from sin, have become enslaved to righteousness.(AM) 19 I am speaking in human terms because of your limitations.[p] For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and lawlessness, leading to even more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, leading to sanctification.(AN)

20 When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.(AO) 21 So what fruit did you then gain from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death.(AP) 22 But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the fruit you have leads to sanctification, and the end is eternal life.(AQ) 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.(AR)

An Analogy from Marriage

Or do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only during that person’s lifetime? Thus a married woman is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives, but if her husband dies, she is discharged from the law concerning the husband.(AS) Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she belongs to another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she belongs to another man, she is not an adulteress.(AT)

In the same way, my brothers and sisters, you have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God.(AU) For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.(AV) But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we are enslaved in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the written code.(AW)

The Law and Sin

What then are we to say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet, if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”(AX) But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law sin lies dead.(AY) I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived 10 and I died, and the very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me.(AZ) 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity in the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good.(BA)

13 Did what is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin that was working death in me through what is good, in order that it might be shown to be sin, so that through the commandment sin might become sinful beyond measure.

The Inner Conflict

14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin.[q] 15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.(BB) 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17 But in fact it is no longer I who do it but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that the good does not dwell within me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do the good lies close at hand, but not the ability.(BC) 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it but sin that dwells within me.

21 So I find it to be a law that, when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self,(BD) 23 but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.(BE) 24 Wretched person that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God[r] through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, with my mind I am enslaved to the law of God, but with my flesh I am enslaved to the law of sin.

Life in the Spirit

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.(BF) For the law of the Spirit[s] of life in Christ Jesus has set you[t] free from the law of sin and of death.(BG) For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and to deal with sin,[u] he condemned sin in the flesh,(BH) so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.[v](BI) For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit[w] set their minds on the things of the Spirit.[x](BJ) To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit[y] is life and peace.(BK) For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed, it cannot,(BL) and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit,[z] since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.(BM) 10 But if Christ is in you, then the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit[aa] is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus[ab] from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through[ac] his Spirit that dwells in you.(BN)

12 So then, brothers and sisters, we are obligated, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13 for if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.(BO) 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.(BP) 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba![ad] Father!”(BQ) 16 it is that very Spirit bearing witness[ae] with our spirit that we are children of God,(BR) 17 and if children, then heirs: heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if we in fact suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.(BS)

Future Glory

18 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God, 20 for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its enslavement to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning together as it suffers together the pains of labor, 23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.(BT) 24 For in[af] hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope, for who hopes for what one already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes[ag] with groanings too deep for words.(BU) 27 And God,[ah] who searches hearts, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit[ai] intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.(BV)

28 We know that all things work together[aj] for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.(BW) 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family.[ak](BX) 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.(BY)

God’s Love in Christ Jesus

31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?(BZ) 32 He who did not withhold his own Son but gave him up for all of us, how will he not with him also give us everything else? 33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.(CA) 34 Who is to condemn? It is Christ[al] who died, or rather, who was raised, who is also at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.(CB) 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will affliction or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all day long;
    we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.”(CC)

37 No, in all these things we are more than victorious through him who loved us.(CD) 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,(CE) 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.


  1. 4.1 Other ancient authorities read say about
  2. 4.3 Or trusted in
  3. 4.11 Or trust
  4. 4.11 Or trust
  5. 4.17 Or trusted
  6. 4.19 Other ancient authorities lack already
  7. 4.24 Or trust
  8. 5.1 Other ancient authorities read let us
  9. 5.2 Other ancient authorities add by faith
  10. 5.2 Or let us
  11. 5.3 Or let us
  12. 5.9 Gk the wrath
  13. 6.7 Or justified
  14. 6.13 Or weapons
  15. 6.13 Or weapons
  16. 6.19 Gk the weakness of your flesh
  17. 7.14 Gk sold under sin
  18. 7.25 Other ancient authorities read I thank God
  19. 8.2 Or spirit
  20. 8.2 Gk you is singular; other ancient authorities read me or us
  21. 8.3 Or and as a sin offering
  22. 8.4 Or spirit
  23. 8.5 Or spirit
  24. 8.5 Or spirit
  25. 8.6 Or spirit
  26. 8.9 Or spirit
  27. 8.10 Or spirit
  28. 8.11 Other ancient authorities read Christ or the Christ or Jesus Christ
  29. 8.11 Other ancient authorities read on account of
  30. 8.15 Aramaic for Father
  31. 8.16 Or a spirit of adoption, by which we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit itself bears witness
  32. 8.24 Or by
  33. 8.26 Other ancient authorities add for us
  34. 8.27 Gk And the one
  35. 8.27 Gk he or it
  36. 8.28 Other ancient authorities read God makes all things work together or in all things God works
  37. 8.29 Gk among many brothers
  38. 8.34 Other ancient authorities read Christ Jesus